Tarantino's new film is being boycotted by a number of a police unions following his involvement in a rally against police brutality

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated December 06, 2015 03:45 PM
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Credit: Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Quentin Tarantino didn’t mince words when speaking about the police union boycott of The Hateful Eight during a Los Angeles press conference for the upcoming western on Saturday.

A number of police organizations announced their plan to boycott the movie and all of Tarantino’s work after reports said the director called officers “murderers” during a rally in New York City in October – a statement he vehemently denied making.

Tarantino, who has openly campaigned against police brutality, said he’s not worried about the boycott, which includes the New York’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, The Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs and the Los Angeles Police Protective League, among others.

“I do not feel like the police force is this sinister black hand organization that goes out and plucks up individual citizens in a conspiracy kind of way,” Tarantino said on Saturday. “Having said that, civil servants shouldn’t be issuing threats, even rhetorically to private citizens.”

The 52-year-old said he expects that there will be a picket at one of the movie’s screenings or premieres later this month and called the boycott “unfortunate” because he does “respect the good work that the police do.”

“I live in the Hollywood Hills,” he explained. “When I see a cop driving around there, I actually assume that he has my best interest at heart, and he has the best interest in my property at heart. And I think if you go to Pasadena, they’d say the same thing. And I think if you knock on doors in Glendale, they’d say the same thing. If you go down to Century Boulevard and start knocking on doors in Inglewood, they’re not going to say the same thing.”

The director, who has helmed hits like Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds, said he thinks the root of the problem began 30 years ago during the War on Drugs.

“You’re not going to have the police force representing the black and brown community if they’ve been spending the last 30 years busting every son and daughter and father and mother for every piddling drug offense that they’ve ever done,” he contended. “And that’s creating a mistrust in the community. But at the same time, you should be able to talk about abuses of power, and you should be able to talk about police brutality and what, in some cases, as far as I’m concerned, outright murder and outright loss of justice without the police organization targeting you in the way that they have done me.”

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Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, first called for the boycott last month, labeling Tarantino a “purveyor of degeneracy.” Other organizations joined the cause over the weeks that followed.

Tarantino also spoke about society’s focus on politically correctness, which is something he said he doesn’t “really think about.”

“It is not my job to think about that,” he said, noting his capacity as an artist. “Especially in terms with me as a writer, and particularly – also, as a filmmaker – but I’m not worried about the filmmaking part because if I’ve written it, that’s what I’m going to do.”

The Hateful Eight, which stars Samuel L. Jackson and Jurt Russell, will premiere on Christmas Day.

Reporting by SCOTT HUVER