Quentin Tarantino has made his first statement to the press regarding remarks he made at an October 24th rally in New York City. During the protest, organized to bring further attention to police brutality throughout America, Tarantino spoke out against “police terror” and stated that:
This is not being dealt with in any way at all. That’s why we are out here. If it was being dealt with, then these murdering cops would be in jail or at least be facing charges…I’m a human being with a conscience … 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.
Police forces around the country immediately took issue with Tarantino’s statement, pointing towards his films’ penchant for gratuitous displays of violence as evidence that the Pulp Fiction director was being hypocritical. In a press release, Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, wrote that “It’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too.” He called for a boycott of Tarantino films, including the upcoming Hateful Eight, which opens in December.
The boycott has picked up momentum over the last week. According to the New York Times, police departments in Los Angeles, “New York, Philidelphia, and elsewhere” have voiced support for the anti-Tarantino movement. The National Association of Police Officers, which represents over 241,000 officers, has joined the movement and requested that police officers “to stop working special assignments or off-duty jobs, such as providing security, traffic control or technical advice for any of Tarantino’s projects.”
In a conversation with the Los Angeles Times, Tarantino said ““All cops are not murderers. I never said that. I never even implied that.” According to him, what his critics are 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.