Last month, the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police officers union in the world, said it had a “surprise” planned for Quentin Tarantino in the wake of the director’s comments on police brutality. But at a press conference for The Hateful Eight on Saturday, Tarantino said he wasn’t worried about the group’s warning.
“People ask me, ‘Are you worried?’ And the answer’s no, I’m not worried, because I do not feel like the police force is this sinister black hand organization that goes out and f—s up individual citizens in a conspiracy sort of way,” Tarantino said at the press conference. “Having said that, a civil servant shouldn’t be issuing threats, even rhetorically, to private citizens. The only thing I can imagine is that they might be planning to picket us, picket one of the screenings or maybe picket the premiere, or one of the 70mm screenings.” His new film, The Hateful Eight, is out on Christmas Day in limited release.
Tarantino came under fire from numerous police groups after participating in a rally against police brutality back in October. “I’m a human being with a conscience. And when I see murder I cannot stand by,” Tarantino said at the event. “And I have to call the murdered the murdered and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
After the remarks, Tarantino was slammed by New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch as a “cop-hater.” Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, said that his group had something “in the works” for Tarantino.
“Something could happen anytime between now and [the debut of Hateful Eight]. And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable,” Pasco said, while saying his group would be “opportunistic.”
The uproar around Tarantino’s initial remarks had cooled in recent weeks, after the director spent the early part of November commenting on the debate in various interviews.
“The fact that they would protect their own as opposed to put themselves at the betterment of citizenry. I don’t think it’s an issue of individuals, good cops versus bad cops, I think it’s inside the institution itself,” Tarantino told Bill Maher. “If they were really serious about this, they wouldn’t close rank on what I’m obviously talking about on this, which is bad cops. I’m obviously talking about specific cases, where it is murder, as far as I’m concerned.”
On Saturday, Tarantino reiterated that he was talking about specific instances of police violence with his initial comments, and felt his criticisms were valid. “You should be able to talk about abuses of power. You should be able to talk about police brutality and what, in some cases as far as I’m concerned, is outright murder and outright loss of justice, without the police organization targeting you in the way that they have done me,” he said.