Quentin Tarantino‘s “Hateful Eight” premiere on Monday night was a surprisingly peaceful affair.
Concerns about a police protest in response to the director’s recent controversial comments about cops were unfounded, as the event at the ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome in Hollywood went off without a hitch.
Instead of battling a boycott, Tarantino hammed it up for the cameras on the red carpet with fellow filmmaker and “Inglourious Basterds” actor Eli Roth.
They were joined by stars of the three-hour-plus film, including Channing Tatum, Kurt Russell (with Goldie Hawn and son, Wyatt Russell), Craig Stark, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demian Bichir, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen and Samuel L. Jackson.
While there were barricades on the north side of Sunset Blvd., across the street in the event of trouble, the only people to descend on the area were a few eager fans, according to TheWrap’s Party Reporter Mikey Glazer. Two police officers on duty stood quietly watching the premiere.
Several police unions had previously called for a boycott of the Western after Tarantino appeared at an anti-police brutality rally in New York City in October and said, among other things, “I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
However, Tarantino told TheWrap this past weekend that he was unfazed by the threats. “It doesn’t concern me that much commercially,” he said.
As the controversy over his comments exploded, Patrick Lynch, president of New York’s police union, called the director a “cop-hater” and touched off calls for a boycott. Several other law enforcement groups joined Lynch’s rallying cry, including the National Fraternal Order of Police, whose director Jim Pasco promised a “surprise” for the director.
“They say they’ve got a surprise waiting for me, and I’m kind of curious what that is,” Tarantino continued. “I can’t imagine it being anything other than them trying to embarrass me, like picketing the premiere or something like that. That could happen, and they have the right to do that if they want.
“What concerns me is the way that the mouthpieces for the police unions have misrepresented what I said, and I think actually slandered me, calling me a cop hater,” he added.
Since his initial comments at the rally, Tarantino has insisted that he was not condemning all police, but was making a point about specific recent cases of unarmed civilians being killed by police officers.
“Hateful Eight” is a Western set in Wyoming a few years after the Civil War. The plot revolves around eight strangers who seek refuge in a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass during a blizzard.