Quentin Tarantino has become the target of law enforcement protests after participating in an anti-police brutality rally two weekends ago in New York City. Speaking just four days after an on-duty NYPD officer was shot and killed, Tarantino said officers themselves are too often “murderers.” “When I see murders, I do not stand by,” he said. “I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
New York’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association immediately called for a boycott of the director’s films, including his forthcoming project The Hateful Eight, and agencies in Los Angeles, Orange County, New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia, and others have since followed suit. Lt. Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said Tarantino displayed a “stunning lack of sensitivity” by labeling some officers murderers so soon after an officer was slain.
“There’s an underground of people who are pro-police, and you don’t hear about them until they get pissed off,” Lally told the Los Angeles Times regarding the boycott. “And it’s going to be this underground that shuts down the movie, not the cops.”
But for his part, Tarantino isn’t biting. “All cops are not murderers,” Tarantino said today in a formal response to The Times. “I never said that. I never even implied that.” He went on:
“What they’re doing is pretty obvious. Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out. And their message is very clear. It’s to shut me down. It’s to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.
I’m not being intimidated. Frankly, it feels lousy to have a bunch of police mouthpieces call me a cop hater. I’m not a cop hater. That is a misrepresentation. That is slanderous. That is not how I feel. But you know, that’s their choice to do that to me. What can I do? I’m not taking back what I said. What I said was the truth. I’m used to people misrepresenting me; I’m used to being misunderstood. What I’d like to think their attack against me is so vicious that they’re revealing themselves. They’re hiding in plain sight.”
We’ll see if the police’s tactics have any impact on the box office for The Hateful Eight, which hits theaters December 25th.