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Getting mad at Quentin Tarantino for opening his mouth seems on par with being irate with water for being wet. Yet, here we are. Quentin Tarantino has been recently making headlines for reasons other than making movies, and that is making his long-time friend Harvey Weinstein, the man who has produced and distributed several of Tarantino’s films, furious. It all stems from the director’s recent decision to march in a rally protesting police violence, because the language he used during the rally has been upsetting more people than simply his studio.
It’s been a little over a week since Tarantino made the decision to march with other protesters in New York. While addressing the assembled crowd, Tarantino referred to some police officers as "murderers" as a result of the people who have died while in police custody. This led to an outcry from several police organizations including calls for a boycott of Tarantino’s films. Page Six is reporting that Harvey Weinstein is furious with Tarantino for making these public and inflammatory comments. The producer is not only concerned by the potential damage that a boycott might do to the film’s box office, but also that the movie’s Oscar chances could be impacted by voters who aren’t happy with Tarantino’s words, and who may take it out on the film.
Weinstein would apparently like to see Tarantino apologize for his comments, or at least walk them back, which is like apologizing but doesn’t usually include an actual apology. He’s also looking at other ideas that might calm down the calls for boycott, like a special screening of Tarantino’s new film The Hateful Eight for police officers and their families. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s hard to see how that will help smooth things over. The NYPD police officers union called the director a "purveyor of degeneracy" when they called for the boycott, so they’d have some comments to answer for as well if they were actually willing to come to terms on something like that.
Quentin Tarantino, for his part, has yet to make any public statement following the ones he made at the rally. When asked about the rally’s proximity to the death of an NYPD officer on the job -- one of the other reasons police officers are not happy with the event -- he called the timing "unfortunate" and said the officer’s death was also tragic, but that’s been the extent of it.
While it’s still a couple months before The Hateful Eight is released in theaters, the outcry shows no signs of dying down. While the boycott may still pick up steam, Tarantino will likely have his own supporters who will attempt to build up support of the film to fight the boycott, which is how this sort of controversy usually plays out.