Director Quentin Tarantino continues to be a lightening rod for urban law enforcement.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League has come out in support of a call for a boycott of the “Pulp Fiction” director’s films after he appeared in an anti-police brutality protest organized by RiseUpOctober on Saturday in New York City. “I’m a human being with a conscience,” he said at the time. “If you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.”
Tarantino’s use of the word “murder” led to a backlash from the New York Benevolent Association. “It’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too,” Patrick J. Lynch, the union’s president, said in a statement this past weekend. He went on to call for New Yorkers to avoid buying tickets to Tarantino films.
The protests on Saturday were also controversial because they took place within days of the death of an NYPD officer in the line of duty. Tarantino acknowledged that the timing of the events were “unfortunate” in an interview with The New York Post. “That cop that was killed, that’s a tragedy, too,” he told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Police Protective League president Craig Lally said in a statement, “We fully support constructive dialogue about how police interact with citizens. But there is no place for inflammatory rhetoric that makes police officers even bigger targets than we already are. Film director Quentin Tarantino took irresponsibility to a new and completely unacceptable level this past weekend by referring to police as murderers during an anti-police march in New York.”
“Hateful rhetoric dehumanizes police and encourages attacks on us,” Lally added. “And questioning everything we do threatens public safety by discouraging officers from putting themselves in positions where their legitimate actions could be falsely portrayed as thuggery.”
Tarantino has yet to respond to the criticism. Although he has never been known for his political activism, he has expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. “I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored,” he told New York Magazine in July. “I feel like it’s another ’60s moment, where the people themselves had to expose how ugly they were before things could change. I’m hopeful that that’s happening now.”
His latest film, a western called “The Hateful Eight,” in due in theaters on Christmas Day.