NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) –Director Quentin Tarantino said he has been slandered and unfairly branded a cop hater.
The Nassau County police union is the latest to join a growing number of police groups calling for a boycott of director Quentin Tarantino’s new film “The Hateful Eight” over remarks he made at an anti-police brutality march.
Last month at an anti-police brutality rally Brooklyn, Tarantino said he was “on the side of the murdered.”
“We find Tarantino’s remarks offensive in the extreme,” said Nassau County PBA President James Carver. “Police officers work hard each and every day to keep communities and families safe. Instead of being demonized, police officers deserve to be praised for the essential services they provide. Each and every day they put their lives on the line for the betterment of society.”
The National Association of Police Organizations and local groups in New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia have all called for a boycott.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, Tarantino claims he was referring to specific cases when he made the controversial comments at a rally in Brooklyn.
Tarantino stood by his comments about police brutality and said he wouldn’t be intimidated from voicing his opinion.
“Just because I was at an anti-police brutality protest, doesn’t mean I’m anti-police,” he said.
He called criticism of his comments from Police Commissioner Bratton, Union Chief Pat Lynch, and others an attempt to deflect attention from the issue of police brutality.
“They want to demonize me, to slander me. It’s much easier to feign outrage and start arguments with celebrities than deal with the fact that they’ve uh, the citizenry has lost trust with them,” he said.
Tarantino told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that law enforcement groups are trying to bully him. “Instead of dealing with the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out,” Tarantino told the Times.
“And their message is very clear,” Tarantino said. “It’s to shut me down. It’s to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.”
“Tarantino lives in a fantasy world,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday. “That’s how he makes his living. His movies are extremely violent but he doesn’t understand violence. He doesn’t understand the nature of the violence that police officers confront. Unfortunately he mistakes lawful use of force for murder, and it’s not.”
Tarantino told the Times “it feels lousy to have a bunch of police mouthpieces call me a cop hater. I’m not a cop hater. That is a misrepresentation. That is slanderous. That is not how I feel.”
“But you know, that’s their choice to do that to me,” the director added to the Times. “What can I do? I’m not taking back what I said. What I said was the truth. I’m used to people misrepresenting me; I’m used to being misunderstood. What I’d like to think is their attack against me is so vicious that they’re revealing themselves. They’re hiding in plain sight.”
Asked for comment on Wednesday night, PBA President Pat Lynch told CBS2.
“The damage from Quentin Tarantino’s hateful comments about police officers has already been done. Freedom of expression goes both ways. If he doesn’t want to face a backlash, he should choose his words more carefully in the future. Meanwhile police officers will continue to express their own outrage at the box office.”
There was also buzz online Wednesday night, because Tarantino said he feels the police brutality issue is “ultimately a problem of white supremacy in this country.”
Jamie Foxx, the star of his “Django Unchained,” has backed Tarantino. At the Hollywood Film Awards, Foxx said: “Keep telling the truth and don’t worry about none of the haters.”
On Tuesday, the Weinstein Co., the longtime distributor of Tarantino’s films including “Hateful Eight,” said it supported Tarantino’s right to say what he wants.
“We don’t speak for Quentin,” the Weinstein Co. said in a statement. “He can and should be allowed to speak for himself.”
Tarantino said the many cops are fans of his work and he is not worried about a box office boycott.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)