After a 10 day silence, Quentin Tarantino has finally responded to the police boycott against him and his movies, including his upcoming Christmas Day release The Hateful Eight. His recent comments at a rally protesting police brutality drew the ire of the NYPD, who initially called the boycott. It was soon joined by various other law enforcement agencies all across the country. The director and cult icon certainly angered cops on both coasts. But he doesn't care. And he refuses to apologize or retract his comments.
Quentin Tarantino spoke with The Los Angeles Times about the boycott and all the controversy tied into it. He claims that law enforcement agencies around the country are attempting to 'demonize' him. And that his public statements at the rally have been taken out of context. He sees it as part of a bigger agenda to shut him up and shut him down, along with anyone else who wants to express their freedom of speech against the issue. He claims that they are trying to deflect attention away from the real issue. About the NYPD's claim that he's outed all cops as murderers, the filmmaker behind such classics as Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained had this to say.
"All cops are not murderers. I never said that. I never even implied that. 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."
So far, law enforcement groups in New York, Los Angeles, Orange County, New Jersey, Chicago and Philadelphia have joined the boycott against Tarantino. Supporters are asked to both ban his films and to refuse to provide security or technical advice for his future projects. Los Angeles Police Dept. Lt. Craig Lally, who is also president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, blames Quentin Tarantino for being insensitive. The filmmaker called specific police officers 'murderers' just four days after a New York police officer was killed in the line of duty in East Harlem. The Dept. Lt. believes that Tarantino's comments are what will be most damaging to The Hateful Eight when it arrives in theaters. The officer explains.
"There's an underground of people who are very pro-police, and you don't hear about them until they get pissed off. And it's going to be this underground that shuts down the movie, not the cops."
Quentin Tarantino refuses to back down from his statements. And the police are not getting an apology out of him anytime soon, even though The Hateful Eight producer and political activist Harvey Weinstein is rumored to have pleaded with the director to either say he's sorry, or at least 'walk back' his comments. About standing his ground, Quentin explained the following.
"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."
Despite rumors that claim Harvey Weinstein wants Quentin Tarantino to issue some sort of an apology, the Weinstein Company sent out a statement that was quite to the contrary. This is what they had to say about their longstanding relationship with the filmmaker. And it stands on the side of the artist, not the company surrounding him.
"The Weinstein Company has a longstanding relationship and friendship with Quentin and has a tremendous amount of respect for him as a filmmaker. We don't speak for Quentin; he can and should be allowed to speak for himself."
Where do you stand on this argument? Do you think Quentin Tarantino was in the wrong? Do you think the NYPD and its law enforcement brethren around the country is simply trying to crush free speech, and intimidate anyone who might speak out against them? Will you still go see The Hateful Eight? Or is this better than any trailer of TV advertisement the movie could have received in making people aware that it exists? Sound off in the comment section below.