Famed director Quentin Tarantino is once again, in the middle of a media witch hunt over his controversial stance in a recent protest against police brutality. He is no amateur to backlash and boycotts as he was boycotted by African American leaders for “Django Unchained” and Jewish leaders for “Inglourious Basterds”. His films prevailed with astounding success regardless and he never apologized for anything he’s blathered about before. Who knows what else this guy has said or done to piss others off in the past? But his latest drama involves a police boycott against his newest movie: “The Hateful 8”.
First off, let’s settle some facts. This was not a ‘kill cops’ or ‘all cops are murderers’ protest. It was held for specific families of slain victims of police brutality. He was booked in advance to speak and unfortunately for him, an innocent cop was murdered days before. He spoke about that briefly before the boycott, stating that the families were flown out to tell their stories and that the cop who was killed “was a tragedy, too”. But the media isn’t pushing that quote, nor are they exactly quoting anything he said within context. They’re stating he called all cops murderers, a bit of an exaggeration and totally out of context with the protest. Another fact to mention, is 100 or more celebrities have participated in police brutality marches without being boycotted, Spike Lee and Talib Kweli to name a couple.
Tarantino is under fire, not only by cops around the country, but by head studio exec Harvey Weinstein who stands to make/lose a ton of money depending on how this plays out. Weinstein is furious with him and demands an apology to the public. Tarantino has remained silent since and has not even shown his face publicly on gotcha sites like TMZ or to accept an award for best ensemble at the Hollywood Film awards last Sunday.
His estranged father, who left him before the age of 3, only to stalk him down to some coffee shop Tarantino is known to go to in California, tried to reconcile after the mega success of Pulp Fiction. (Shadey, huh?) Tarantino has said to have told him to fuck off forever and refuses to let him back in his life, and why would he? Any one with dignity would take that as a slap in the face and a false reconciliation due to his overwhelming success artistically and financially. Well, his douche bag father- Tony Tarantino finally found a reason to attack his son, stepping out to the media to condemn him about his words and actions angering cops nationwide. (what a douchebag!)
Even with Tarantino’s history for backing away from any sort of apology in the past, he’s in a somewhat critical situation with the police. And we don’t even know if he hates all cops and I’m willing to bet he doesn’t. (You can protest against police brutality and not hate all cops.. Jeez) But the police force is thin skinned as ever these days and they’re not gonna take it! I suspect a lot of this has to do with the media spreading lies and painting around the actual facts of the scenario, and I also happen to think most cops probably love his movies and feel betrayed!
Let’s not forget, whenever someone participates in a protest, people are going to take sides. The facts get thrown out the window and minds are made up in a matter of seconds. We live in a soundbite nation full of short tempered, short attention span people. No one takes the time to think or find out the truth about anything anymore.
Some questions arise- Why is Tarantino the only celebrity to get boycotted for having an opinion about police injustice we see in the news everyday, all day? Was he the only white celebrity to take part in this kind of protest? Is that the reason!? Why do the cops not even bother with Spike Lee or anyone else involved in this? (by the way www.riseupoctober.org is the website)
Let’s skip ahead to some possible solutions. What can or should Tarantino do now? He stands to lose a lot of money and academy awards over this but certainly doesn’t have to apologize and knows he will still do well at the box office. This guy is a genius, legendary filmmaker who hasn’t had a bomb in his whole career. My guess, is he will pop out closer to the film’s release and talk about his side of this in a public interview, hopefully clarifying some things and ending this boycott. But once the finger’s pointed by so many, can he even stop that now? Comedian Bill Cosby chose to keep silent in the press about his denial of rape accusations, thinking it would blow over eventually, but that has not worked out well for him at all! Knowing Tarantino to be a loud mouth overly passionate speaker, it would be unlike him to go into hiding during the film’s release.
This is a messed up situation started by a knee jerk reaction by the police force. For all we know, Tarantino has a lot more to say about cops than he has, or he is trying to pick the best path to defend himself when he does speak out about this. We shall see... But I’ll be very disappointed if he apologizes for something he believes in, however bad the timing was to an innocent cop being murdered and it may also diminish how fans feel about him if he does offer a complete apology. Would it even be sincere, or would it be to appease the wrath of the Weinstein Hollywood militia?
This is another example of a media witch hunt (started by Fox News by the way) where it feels it can deem someone guilty above a court of law. Public opinion has risen above and trending social media sites have taken the place of the courts in this day and age. I don’t think any of this was on Tarantino’s mind at the time of the event and now he is the newest victim of strength in numbers accountability.
I’d like to see Tarantino move on and take his chances with whatever happens like he’s done in the past. I’d respect that. But I have a gut feeling emperor Weinstein could be influential enough to push him out of reclusiveness into the spotlight to discuss what’s happening. And I also believe Tarantino is so intelligent, he can use his wits to maneuver this to be in his favor and even better, bridging a better relationship among the police and African Americans that feel they are constantly victimized.
Come out, come out wherever you are Quentin. Don’t go down the road Bill Cosby has chosen. We all see how that played out.