Embattled director Quentin Tarantino has finally spoken out after his participation in an anti-police rally last month led law enforcement associations nationwide to call for a boycott of his upcoming film. Instead of an apology, the director insists that what he said at the rally was “the truth.”
“All cops are not murderers,” Tarantino told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, more than a week after New York City’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association started a chain reaction in police unions across the country by calling for a boycott of the director’s upcoming film The Hateful Eight.
“I never said that. I never even implied that,” Tarantino continued, adding:
What they’re 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.
Last month, Tarantino participated in the RiseUpOctober anti-police brutality rally in New York City, where he told demonstrators: “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.”
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch quickly issued a statement saying Tarantino had “no business coming to our city to peddle his slanderous ‘Cop Fiction'” and calling for a boycott of all of Tarantino’s films.
New York police were soon joined by police departments in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia, and then by the National Association of Police Organizations, which represents 1,000 police units and associations nationwide.
But Tarantino told the Times he is not backing away from the comments he made at the rally.
“I’m not being intimidated,” he told the paper. “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.”
“But you know, that’s their choice to do that to me,” he added. “What can I do? I’m not taking back what I said. 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 their attack against me is so vicious that they’re revealing themselves. They’re hiding in plain sight.”
The Hateful Eight is set for limited release on Christmas Day before opening wide on January 8, 2016. The Weinstein Company, the distributor behind the film, issued its own statement shortly before Tarantino provided his interview to the Times.
“The Weinstein Co. has a longstanding relationship and friendship with Quentin and has a tremendous amount of respect for him as a filmmaker,” a TWC spokesman told the Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “We don’t speak for Quentin, he can and should be allowed to speak for himself.”