Famous producer, director, screenwriter,actor, or jack-of-all-trades Quentin Tarantino has recently found himself in the spotlight for something less positive than his critically acclaimed films.
Two months before the upcoming Christmas Day unveiling of his highly anticipated movie, The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino attended last month’s Rise Up October protest, joining approximately 300 other marchers against police brutality. Quentin took the stage to speak up.
“I’m a human being with a conscience. And when I see a murder, I cannot stand by, and I have to call the murdered the murdered, and I have to call the the murderers the murderers.”
Tarantino’s speech at the rally consequently made a lot of people–specifically in law enforcement–infuriated, and according to America’s arguably most controversial screenwriter, his words got blown out of proportion.
“What they’re doing is pretty obvious,” Tarantino said in a recent Los Angeles Times interview. “Instead of dealing with the instances 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 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.”
Quentin Tarantino has since been singled out and “demonized” as anti-police, and police unions across the country have been calling for a boycott of his films. They also expect an apology, but the director isn’t backing down.
“All cops are not murderers,” he defended himself. “I never said that. I never even implied that. What I said was the truth. I’m used to people misrepresenting me; I’m used to being misunderstood. What I’d like to think is their attack against me is so vicious that they’re revealing themselves. They’re hiding in plain sight.”
Patrick Lynch, the head of the biggest union representing the NYPD, said that “it’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop hater, too. […] New Yorkers need to send a message to this purveyor of degeneracy that he has no business coming to our city to peddle his slanderous ‘Cop Fiction.’ It’s time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films.”
The president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Craig Lally, has since come out in support of Lynch’s statement, saying that Tarantino took irresponsibility to a new and complete unacceptable level by referring to police as murderers. “Hateful rhetoric dehumanizes police and encourages attacks on us. And questioning everything we do threatens public safety by discouraging officers from putting themselves in positions where their legitimate actions could be falsely portrayed as thuggery.”
Tarantino, however, is not intimidated. “Frankly, it feels lousy to have a bunch of police mouthpieces call me a cop hater. I’m not a cop hater. That is a misrepresentation. That is slanderous. That is not how I feel.”
The animosity and tension is rising, and Tarantino has yet to make a public apology.