Over the weekend, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino took part in a long-planned rally against police brutality in New York City. The timing of the event was rather unfortunate, though, since, just four days earlier, an NYPD cop Randolph Holder was killed in the line of duty. The director's speech at the protest has lead to the police union president calling for a boycott of his films, including the upcoming Western The Hateful Eight, due out in theaters on Christmas Day. Here's what the director had to say at this weekend's protest, while holding up a blown-up photograph of Justin Smith, an Oklahoma man killed in police custody in 1999 after spitting on cops.
"When I see murders, I do not stand by... I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers."
The director told the New York Post that the protest being held just days after an NYPD cop was killed in the line of duty was "unfortunate timing." He added that they had flown in several families of victims to tell their stories, while calling the murder of Randolph Holder a "tragedy" as well. On Sunday, one day after the protest, Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, released a statement, asking for New Yorkers to boycott Quentin Tarantino's films.
"It's no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too. The police officers that Quentin Tarantino calls 'murderers' aren't living in one of his depraved big-screen fantasies - they're risking and sometimes sacrificing their lives to protect communities from real crime and mayhem. New Yorkers need to send a message to this purveyor of degeneracy that he has no business coming to our city to peddle his slanderous 'Cop Fiction.'"
With The Hateful Eight's release just two months away, it remains to be seen if this boycott will have any impact on its box office take. The film will debut in limited release, with a unique "roadshow" release in approximately 50 theaters equipped with 70MM, before expanding into a nationwide release sometime in January. New York will certainly be one of the cities that The Hateful Eight opens in first, so it's possible that if New Yorkers support this boycott, it could adversely affect the box office results.
Quentin Tarantino has never shied away from speaking his mind before, and this is certainly not the first time he's made controversial statements. Do you think the NYPD is correct to "boycott" the director's films, simply for appearing at a peaceful protest? We'll keep you posted with any updates regarding The Hateful Eight boycott as we get closer and closer to the December 25 release.