HOLLYWOOD — With a growing number of law enforcement agencies calling for a boycott of his upcoming film in response to comments he made at a police-brutality protest, director Quentin Tarantino said his remarks have been misconstrued in an attempt to “demonize” him.
In his first comments responding to the criticism that has mounted since the Oct. 24 rally in New York City, Tarantino told the Los Angeles Times Nov. 3 that he never called all police officers murderers.
“I never said that,” he said. “I never even implied that.”
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the New York Police Department, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs and the Fraternal Order of Police have all called for a boycott of Tarantino’s upcoming film, “The Hateful Eight,” a Western scheduled for release Dec. 25.
The outcry against the director followed comments he made at the police brutality protest in New York just days after New York police Officer Randolph Holder was killed in the line of duty.
“I’m a human being with a conscience,” Tarantino said. “And if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.”
Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, sent a message to members Nov. 2, saying officers take “great offense” at Tarantino’s comments, particularly seeing how Tarantino’s career was built on “glorifying criminal violence.”
“If Mr. Tarantino truly wished to be on ‘the side of the murdered,’ he would speak in defense of Officer Holder and the 37 other law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2015. Thirty-eight dead police officers may not be much of a body count for a Tarantino film, but to the brave men and women of the Fraternal Order of Police, it is far too many,” Canterbury said.
In the interview with The Times, Tarantino said his remarks at the rally were aimed specifically at police officers involved in unwarranted shootings.
‘What they’re doing is pretty obvious,” he said. “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,” he said.