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Director Quentin Tarantino is not exactly known for being a delicate flower or for being afraid to speak his mind, which has landed him in hot water more than once. He recently angered the NYPD when he called them murderers while talking about escalating police violence, which led multiple police unions to call for a boycott of his new movie, The Hateful Eight. If you thought Tarantino might apologize or back off at all, you would be very, very wrong.
Instead of the apology that many law enforcement agencies demanded, the Pulp Fiction director talked to the Los Angeles Times and clarified that he never said that all police officers are murderers and didn’t mean to imply that. Never one to shy away, he then proceeded to call them out again for trying to intimidate him and take attention off of an important issue. He said:
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.
Earlier today it was reported that Tarantino would issue and apology, though it is doubtful that this is the kind of contrition people expected to hear.
This is the latest salvo in an escalating war of words, and one that is likely far from over. While speaking at a protest in New York’s Washington Square Park, Tarantino used the term "murderers" while talking about the numerous recent deaths of unarmed citizens at the hands of the police. That was going to rankle the law enforcement community on its own, but the even happened to follow shortly after an NYPD officer was killed on the job, and police department called for a boycott of Tarantino’s films, with one official calling him a "purveyor of degeneracy."
It didn’t take long for the Los Angeles Police Department, along with numerous other police forces across the country, to join their brothers in blue. Though Tarantino has commented on the unfortunate timing of the rally, which was scheduled well in advance of the New York officer’s death, this is the first time he’s directly addressed the call to boycott his film.
The Weinstein Company, which is distributing The Hateful Eight, is said to be rather peeved at Tarantino, with whom they have a long working relationship. They’re worried about the potential monetary fallout a boycott could cause, as well as the controversy tanking any Academy Awards chances the movie may have (you know how Harvey Weinstein loves his Oscars).
There’s surely more to come on this front, and we’ll keep you updated when we hear more. The Hateful Eight hits theaters on December 25.