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Sunday 22 September 2019

Police urge Tarantino film boycott after 'hateful rhetoric' at rally

Director Quentin Tarantino at the New York rally to protest against police brutality (AP)
Director Quentin Tarantino at the New York rally to protest against police brutality (AP)

Calls by police groups to boycott Quentin Tarantino's latest film are putting pressure on one of next month's most anticipated releases and plunging one of Hollywood's top directors into a pitched cultural battle.

A growing number of police groups have called for the boycott of upcoming Weinstein release The Hateful Eight, after remarks the director made during a New York rally against police brutality.

Police bodies in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles called for the boycott and now the National Association of Police Organisations has joined the ranks opposing Tarantino.

"We ask officers to stop working special assignments or off-duty jobs, such as providing security, traffic control or technical advice for any of Tarantino's projects," the organisation said.

"We need to send a loud and clear message that such hateful rhetoric against police officers is unacceptable."

Tarantino, 52, attended the Brooklyn rally against brutality on October 24 where he said: "I'm a human being with a conscience. And 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."

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Company, has a long history of using media storms to stoke interest in a movie, but this time the fortunes of The Hateful Eight - for better or worse - risk being altered by a controversy not of his making.

The Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs director's comments sparked condemnation from, among others, New York Police Department commissioner Bill Bratton, who said "shame on him", shortly after the recent fatal shooting of officer Randolph Holder in East Harlem.

"There are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments at this particular time," Mr Bratton said.

The response has made Tarantino a regular topic on Fox News and at Hollywood soirees, alike. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly last week said Tarantino "lives in a world of his own", but at the Hollywood Film Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night , Jamie Foxx, the star of Tarantino's Django Unchained, defended the director, urging him: "Keep telling the truth and don't worry about none of the haters."

Tarantino's father Tony has even issued a statement through the New York Police Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, saying his son is "dead wrong" about police officers. The director has previously said that his father "was never part of my life".

Tarantino has yet to respond publicly to the backlash.

Expectations are high for The Hateful Eight, which opens on Christmas Day exclusively in film projections of 70mm before expanding to nationwide US cinemas on January 8.

The Western, s tarring Samuel L Jackson and Kurt Russell, is about a group of bounty hunters sheltered together during a blizzard.

Tarantino's last film, 2012's Django Unchained, earned 425.4 million dollars (£276m) worldwide and won two Oscars, including best screenplay for Tarantino.

PA Media

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