Quentin Tarantino says he is “not worried” about an upcoming “surprise” pledged by the nation’s largest police union after the director participated in an anti-police brutality rally in New York City in October.
Last month, Fraternal Order of Police executive director Jim Pasco told the Hollywood Reporter that his organization has a “surprise” in store for Tarantino, whose latest film, The Hateful Eight, opens on Christmas Day.
“Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element,” Pasco warned. “Something could happen anytime between now and [the debut of The Hateful Eight]. And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable.”
Pasco later clarified that the police union would never threaten physical violence against the director but added: “The right time and place will come up, and we’ll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that’s economically.”
Tarantino addressed the organization’s threat at a press conference for the film on Saturday.
“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 fucks up individual citizens in a conspiracy sort of way,” the director said, according to the Daily Beast. “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.”
Tarantino provoked the outrage of police unions and associations nationwide after he participated in an anti-police rally in New York City on October 24, where he told protesters: “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.”
The comments sparked massive backlash from law enforcement agencies nationwide, including the NYPD, LAPD, Philadelphia PD, and the National Association of Police Organizations, who vowed to boycott The Hateful Eight and the director’s previous work.
At the press conference on Saturday, Tarantino called the situation “unfortunate, because I do respect the good work that the police do.”
“At the same time, you should be able to talk about abuses of power,” he added. “You should be able to talk about police brutality and what, in some cases as far as I’m concerned, is outright murder and outright loss of justice, without the police organization targeting you in the way they have done me.”
The Hateful Eight will see a limited release on Christmas Day before officially opening on January 8.