Back in October, Hateful Eight director Quentin Tarantino marched in a protest with the families of people killed by police. He spoke during the event, as well, saying, “I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers.” That line didn’t go over well with some police union leaders, who felt like Quentin was calling all cops murderers. He was never exactly the force’s favorite director (what with all that glorified cop mutilation/murder in Reservoir Dogs), and the next thing you know, there was a police boycott of Tarantino’s movie in effect.
But things didn’t stop there. New York police union executive director Jim Pasco went so far as to announce they had a “surprise” in store for Tarantino that was above and beyond the boycott. He added that he wasn’t physically threatening the Academy Award-winning director, but you know your statement is coming off as creepy when you have to clarify that point.
For his part, Quentin Tarantino didn’t back down, even in the face of studio anger over his refusal to apologize. He continues to insist he was willfully taken out of context and isn’t a cop hater. He also doesn’t sound too worried about that “surprise.” Via Entertainment Weekly:
“People ask me, ‘Are you worried?’ And the answer’s no, I’m not worried, because I do not feel like the police force is this sinister black hand organization that goes out and f—s up individual citizens in a conspiracy sort of way,” Tarantino said at the press conference. “Having said that, a civil servant shouldn’t be issuing threats, even rhetorically, to private citizens. The only thing I can imagine is that they might be planning to picket us, picket one of the screenings or maybe picket the premiere, or one of the 70mm screenings.”
It is pretty messed up that the police union made a statement basically vowing retribution for something Tarantino said. These are guys who have the ability to arrest you, and you’d like to hope they only do that in the name of public safety, not bruised egos. But who knows. This whole thing was kicked off by the police misunderstanding Quentin Tarantino’s statement. Maybe the police union’s statement was misunderstood, as well, and their surprise for him is a nice Christmas present along with a pat on the back for engaging in constitutionally protected civil discourse.
That would be a Christmas miracle indeed. Check back over the coming weeks to see what the New York police union has in store for Tarantino leading up to the Hateful Eight‘s release on Christmas Day. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the free publicity.