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Quentin Tarantino has been in the news a lot in the last couple weeks. This wouldn’t be unusual for a man who has a major film coming out next month, but unfortunately for the writer and director nobody is talking about his work, and everybody is talking comments he made at a rally to protest police brutality. His words have brought calls from police unions to boycott The Hateful Eight. This reaction has shocked the director, since he felt it was clear he was not making a blanket statement about the police.
On October 24, Tarantino attended a rally to protest police brutality where he said he could not stand by when he saw a murder. The statement has been taken as anti-police by several police unions across the country, but Tarantino says in an interview that he's not anti-police, just anti-police brutality.
I was surprised. I was under the impression that I was an American, and that I had First Amendment rights, and there was no problem with me going to a anti-police brutality protest and speaking my mind. … Just because I was at an anti-police brutality protest doesn't mean I'm anti-police.
The Pulp Fiction scribe goes on to say he’s being used as a target because it’s easier for them to go after him than it is to deal with what he sees as obvious problems in the system. One thing that Tarantino does not do is apologize. He specifies during the interview with MSNBC that when he used the term "murderer," he was referring to individual cases that he believes constitute murder. Some of the cases he mentions by name did eventually result in murder charges being filed against police officers, though others did not.
It’s been a rough road for Tarantino since his comments. Tarantino does say that it has probably been a frustrating experience for the producers of his movie, he never actually mentions The Weinstein Company, or the title of the film by name during the entire interview, but says that they are standing behind him. While they have come out publicly in support, there has been talk that Harvey Weinstein is certainly frustrated, as Tarantino says. Watch the full interview with Chris Hayes below.
Now that the director is speaking publicly, we’ll see if this will quiet the controversy or just make it worse. With less than two months before the Christmas Day release of The Hateful Eight, time is running short to prevent an impact.