Quentin Tarantino is known for making films that contain a lot of violent imagery. He’s also a man who has no problem speaking his mind. However, his choice of words have left New York City police officers angry, and they are now calling for a boycott of his films following his appearance at a rally to protest police violence.
Over the weekend, a rally was held in New York’s Washington Square to bring attention to nationwide problems with police violence. Tarantino attended the rally and marched with the crowd but it was the words he spoke when he address the assembled protest that is drawing the ire of the NYPD. The Pulp Fiction director used the term "murderers" when referring to some of the deaths and the hands of police officers in recent months. This language, combined with the fact that the protest came on the heels of an NYPD officer being killed while on the job, has led the policemen’s union to call for a boycott of Tarantino films.
The President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, feels that Tarantino’s films glorify violence. The New York Post quotes him calling the Reservoir Dogs creator a "purveyor of degeneracy."
Tarantino, for his part, admits that the timing of the rally was "unfortunate." It had been planned long before the officer had been killed and many people, including himself, traveled to New York for the event. Certainly nobody expected a police officer to be killed just days before the rally. While Quentin Tarantino’s words were certainly focused on much of the death that has occurred at the hands of the police, it’s also clear from his language that he would not condone the death of a police officer, either.
Tarantino’s new film Hateful Eight is set for a Christmas release. With a release date so far in the future, it will be interesting to see if anything comes of the call to boycott. While the new film is not specifically called out, the union’s request to boycott apparently covers all of the man’s films, so the upcoming release is really the only place where audiences staying away would have any noticeable impact. If the fallout of this past weekend continues, then it’s possible many might stay away. However, it’s also possible much of this may have faded into the background over the next couple months. The movie is going to be a major focus for the holiday movie season, however, so any impact may be noticeable.
It’s an all around terrible situation that just seems to have the worst possible timing. The deaths of several people across the country at the hands of police have grabbed national media headlines and become a major topic of concern. At the same time, the death of a police officer performing his duties is also a tragic occurrence.