“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,” Quentin Tarantino said at a protest against police brutality in New York City a week ago, and it lit a fuse. Police unions in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles along with The National Association of Police Organizations and the National Border Patrol Council have called for a boycott of the director’s films, including his upcoming “The Hateful Eight.”
“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 York City Police Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement. “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. It’s time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films.” It was sentiment that Lynch’s colleagues in other cities echoed. But after a week of silence, Tarantino has responded.
“All cops are not murderers. I never said that. I never even implied that,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “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 what does this all ultimately mean for “The Hateful Eight”? Right now, it’s hard to say. The issues hasn’t really coalesced into something could seriously affect the box office, though it’s certainly not going away, and while Harvey Weinstein tends to embrace all publicity, he is reportedly not happy to have this kind of press surrounding “The Hateful Eight.”
“Harvey is desperate to find a solution,” according to source who spoke to the New York Post. “He’s angry that Tarantino needlessly created a controversy that has nothing to do with the movie. It’s so pointless and unnecessary.”
“The Hateful Eight” opens in limited release on Christmas Day.