Entertainment & Arts

Tarantino 'won't be intimidated' by police film boycott

Quentin Tarantino on the Rise up October rally in New York Image copyright AP
Image caption Tarantino joined protesters at the Rise up October rally against police brutality in New York

Director Quentin Tarantino says he will not be intimidated by police unions calling for a boycott of his films, after he spoke at a rally against police brutality last month.

Tarantino told the Los Angeles Times he had been "misrepresented", adding: "All cops are not murderers. I never said that. I never even implied that."

Unions want officers to boycott Tarantino's films and future projects.

"Their message is very clear," said Tarantino, "it's to shut me down."

It is the first time Tarantino has spoken since he attended a rally against police killings of unarmed black civilians in New York on 24 October, where he spoke to protesters from a podium.

He was quoted as saying: "When I see murder, I cannot stand by, and I have to call the murdered the murdered, and I have to call the murderers the murderers."

It sparked outrage from police groups including the National Association of Police Organisations (Napo) and local unions in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia who have called on officers to boycott the December release of Tarantino's new film The Hateful Eight.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Tarantino said people should be dealing with the issue of police brutality instead of trying to "bully" him

The boycott includes asking officers to stop providing security, traffic control or technical advice for any of the filmmaker's future projects or events.

The Oscar-winning director told the LA Times that claims he was a "cop hater" were attempts to "discredit" and "intimidate" him, and called them "slanderous".

"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," he said.

'Fantasy world'

However Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tarantino "doesn't understand the nature of the violence" police officers face in their work.

Tarantino's attendance of the New York rally came days after a police officer was shot dead while chasing a bicycle thief.

"Tarantino lives in a fantasy world. That's how he makes his living," said Beck.

"His movies are extremely violent but he doesn't understand violence... unfortunately he mistakes lawful use of force for murder, and it's not."

Public outrage over the deaths of black men at the hands of police in New York, Missouri, Baltimore and South Carolina has sparked protests across the US over the past year.

Tarantino accused police groups of trying to bully him, adding: "Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality in this country better, they single me out."

At the Hollywood Film Awards on Sunday, actor Jamie Foxx - the star of Tarantino's Django Unchained - backed the director on stage.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Jamie Foxx backed Tarantino's decision to speak at the rally at a Hollywood awards ceremony on Sunday

Introducing the cast of new film The Hateful Eight, about bounty hunters in post-civil war Wyoming, he said: "Keep telling the truth and don't worry about none of the haters."

Tarantino's regular film distributor the Weinstein Company has also said it supports the director's right to speak out on issues he feels strongly about.

"We don't speak for Quentin," it said in a statement. "He can and should be allowed to speak for himself."

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