Quentin Tarantino Breaks Silence Over Police Drama
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has broken his silence after stirring up controversy by taking part in an anti-police brutality rally in New York last month. The October 24 protest came just days after a New York Police Department officer was shot and killed while chasing an armed suspect in East Harlem, and Tarantino addressed the unfortunate timing at the event. But he upset many top cops when he spoke to activists and said, “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 remark prompted police union officials in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston to call for a boycott of the director’s films, beginning with his new western The Hateful Eight, which will be released on Christmas Day. The 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police – the world’s largest organization of law enforcement officers – have agreed to observe the boycott. Tarantino has now addressed the controversy for the first time, telling the Los Angeles Times that he won’t be intimidated by the growing number of police boycotts, adding, “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. 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.” And Tarantino is keen to point out his rally remarks have been misconstrued: “All cops are not murderers. I never said that. I never even implied that.” The filmmaker’s Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx and The Hateful Eight lead Kurt Russell have been quick to support the director amid the backlash over his comments, while bosses at The Weinstein Co., who are distributing his new film, have made it clear Tarantino should be able to take part in rallies and make his feelings known, whether they agree with him or not.