Amidst an escalating boycott from police organizations across the country, Quentin Tarantino and The Weinstein Company have finally issued statements. The director got into hot water after he made controversial remarks at an October 24 rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park, referring to police officers as “murderers.” The comments led the New York City Police Officers Union to begin a boycott against Tarantino films, a movement that has grown in the past several days with the help of police unions in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and other major U.S. cities.
Earlier this week, the Police Officers’ Benevolent Association of New Jersey and the National Association of Police Organizations joined the effort, with the latter alone bringing 1,000 police units and 241,000 individual officers to the boycott. The biggest contributor to the movement arrived yesterday with the involvement of the Fraternal Order of Police, the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers with over 330,000 members.
In an official statement to The Hollywood Reporter, The Weinstein Company has finally weighed in on the issue, saying, “The Weinstein Co. 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.”
Fortunately, the outspoken director has done just that, giving a comment to The Los Angeles Times after days of silence. “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,” he said. “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.”
He added: “All cops are not murderers. I never said that. I never even implied that…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.”
The comments come at a critical time for both Tarantino and the distribution company, as the director’s new movie, “The Hateful Eight,” opens in select theaters this Christmas. As many have suspected, The Weinstein Company has been facing growing pressure to settle the issue considering that a nationwide boycott could potentially impact the potential box office grosses of the director’s upcoming film.