After a week of silence in the face of growing police boycotts, Quentin Tarantino faces mounting pressure to respond to their anger over his calling cops “murderers.” The outspoken director, whose new movie “The Hateful Eight” opens Christmas Day, has thus far remained silent.
Officers unions in Los Angeles and Philadelphia have joined the NYPD in blasting the director’s comments last weekend, where he labeled cops “murderers” at a rally against police brutality.
“He was doing what’s called ‘watchful waiting,'” veteran crisis expert Howard Bragman told TheWrap, saying the past few days were a test of the boycott’s stamina. “It goes away, or it gets worse. After Philadelphia joined the protest, it certainly didn’t go away.”
Bragman also said he’d be worried that “not just the rank and file, but [New York Police Commissioner] Bill Bratton is trashing him.”
Tarantino’s silence rings loud. Reps for the Oscar winner and his “Hateful Eight” distributor, The Weinstein Company, have not responded to numerous requests for comment as the protest gained steam.
“The other unions joined New York as a show of support, and they’re taking their lead. I’d imagine they’re looking for an apology,” a law enforcement insider told TheWrap on the condition of anonymity.
“There are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments at this particular time,” Bratton said Tuesday. New York police union president Patrick Lynch escalated things by saying “New Yorkers need to send a message to this purveyor of degeneracy.”
Those hefty character attacks might be too big to ignore, with holiday box office and awards contention on the line.
“I think he should make a nice statement that’s also true — that police make mistakes, but there are plenty of bad criminals. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.,” Bragman said. “This can spread to other unions like firemen and teachers too.”
When asked what conditions would need to be met to call off the boycott, a Los Angeles police media liaison had no comment. Spokesmen for New York and Philadelphia police were not immediately available, but some aren’t surprised the organizations are so aggressively speaking out against the often-controversial director.
“Clearly law enforcement is getting beat up. Once a week we see a tape of law enforcement tipping a kid over in their desk, shooting at a kid in his car as it drives away,” Bragman said.
“This is something law enforcement can latch on to and make their own. Tarantino is a pawn in their PR game. They don’t get as many chances at bat to protect themselves.”