How serious is the police boycott of Quentin Tarantino and his upcoming Western The Hateful Eight? Serious enough that producer and longtime Quentin Tarantino collaborator Harvey Weinstein wants the director to issue some sort of apology. According to Page Six, Weinstein is furious with Tarantino, and believes his outspoken personality has ruined The Hateful Eight's chances at Oscar glory along with its potential at the box office.
Tarantino first drew the ire of the NYPD after he appeared at an NYC rally on October 24 to protest police brutality, calling the cops 'murderers'. Soon after, the NYPD called a boycott of Quentin Tarantino and all his movies, including The Hateful Eight, which opens in limited release this Christmas before going wider in January. Soon, the LAPD joined the boycott, and was followed by the National Association of Police Organizations and the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association. Supporters are asked to both boycott his films and to refuse to provide security or technical advice for his future projects.
Now, it is being reported that Harvey Weinstein is demanding an apology from Quentin Tarantino. And if he refuses, he needs to at least 'walk back' his comments, which means issuing a statement that does not directly include an apology. An insider close to both parties had this to say.
"The last thing Harvey needs is a boycott that will scare off Oscar voters and hurt the box office."
The 70mm Roadshow screenings, which are bringing The Hateful Eight to roughly 50 screens on December 25 across the country, will allow the movie to qualify for the Academy Awards. Harvey Weinstein, a democrat, is known for his political activism. Throughout the years, he has produced many of Quentin Tarantino's movies starting with Pulp Fiction in 1994. The producer has often referred to his Miramax distribution company as 'the house that Quentin built.' Now it could be the house that Tarantino destroyed.
Along with an apology or statement of some kind from Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Weinstein is looking at other conciliatory options. He is rumored to be considering special screenings of The Hateful Eight for police officers across the country and their families. But it isn't known how that will go over. At this time, Quentin Tarantino hasn't issued any kind of statement about the boycott. With nearly two months to go until the movie opens, it's possibly that this will all blow over before its premiere. And if nothing else, it's certainly giving the Western a free promotional push. But Quentin Tarantino's comments may not sit well with Academy voters.