Quentin Tarantino continues to stand by anti-police comments he made earlier this fall in a new interview, saying he “completely rejects” the “bad apples” argument that only a small number of police officers behave inappropriately on the job.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly on Monday (and in an interview with Howard Stern last week), the Hateful Eight director put the blame for some instances of police brutality on the “institutional racism” of the profession.
“I completely and utterly reject the bad apples argument,” the director told EW. “Chicago just got caught with their pants down in a way that can’t be denied. But I completely and utterly reject the ‘few bad apples’ argument. Yeah, the guy who shot [Laquan McDonald] is a bad apple. But so are the other eight or nine cops that were there that said nothing, did nothing, let a lie stand for an entire year.”
“And the chief of police, is he a bad apple?” Tarantino continued. “I think he is. Is [Chicago Mayor] Rahm Emanuel a bad apple? I think he is. They’re all bad apples. That just shows that that’s a bulls*** argument. It’s about institutional racism. It’s about institutional cover-ups that are about protecting the force as opposed to the citizens.”
Tarantino created a firestorm of controversy in October when he participated in an anti-police brutality rally in New York City, where he said: “I am a human being with a conscience. And when I see murder, I cannot stand by, and I have to call the murdered the murdered and I have the call the murderers the murderers.”
Tarantino’s comments sparked calls for a boycott of the director’s upcoming Hateful Eight from some of the largest police associations in the country, including the NYPD, LAPD, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the National Association of Police Organizations.
Last month, Fraternal Order of Police executive director said his group’s 300,000 members had an economically damaging “surprise” planned for Tarantino before the Christmas Day release of his film. But the director told EW he only had “natural human trepidation” before the New York and Los Angeles premiers of Hateful Eight, and that, rather than frighten him, the police association’s threats proved his point.
“As far as getting my point across, the cops response to it has made my point for me in so many ways,” he said. “They look really bad. Civil servants, even rhetorically, shouldn’t be threatening private citizens. They sounded like bad guys in an ’80s action movie.”
The Hateful Eight opens this week in select theaters before opening wide on New Year’s Day. Variety reports that a screener of the film intended for Academy voters has leaked on the Internet and had already been illegally downloaded more than 500,000 times in a 24-hour period.