In Depth

Why police groups are boycotting Quentin Tarantino

Police told to stay away from 'cop hater' Tarantino's films – but do movie boycotts ever work?

Police groups in Los Angeles and Philadelphia have said they will join officers in New York in boycotting the films of Quentin Tarantino, after the director appeared at an anti-police brutality protest – but this isn't the first time campaign groups have attempted to boycott popular movies.

Tarantino, the Oscar-winning director of violent crime films such as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Reservoir Dogs, joined demonstrators in New York last weekend to speak out against the deaths of people at the hands of police, reports Associated Press.

Tarantino said at the rally that as "a human being with a conscience" he was "on the side of the murdered".

His statement angered many police officers, at a time when they are mourning the recent death of one of their colleagues, New York City patrolman Randolph Holder, who was shot and killed while pursuing a suspect in a robbery, reports the New York Times.

After Tarantino appeared at the protest, the president of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Patrick J Lynch, called for a boycott of his films, saying that Tarantino was a "cop-hater" and someone who makes a living "glorifying crime and violence".

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton reiterated the call for the boycott, saying he had contempt for the director. Police associations in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New Jersey joined the condemnation of Tarantino and the call for a boycott of his movies.

The group behind the anti-brutality rally, RiseUpOctober, has said the police boycotts are merely an effort to scare protestors, not just Tarantino, "back into silence".

Tarantino films aren't the first to be the subject of a boycott by a group of angry campaigners, yet historically boycotts of popular movies have been largely unsuccessful, points out The Guardian.

Earlier this month, racist trolls called for fans to stay away from the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie because director JJ Abrams had cast a black actor, John Boyega, as one of the leads – but the film, which opens in cinemas in December, is set to become one of the highest-grossing releases of all time after tickets went on sale weeks in advance.

In 2006, fans of Pierce Brosnan launched a website calling for a boycott of Bond movies because Brosnan had been dropped as 007 in favour of Daniel Craig – but Casino Royale went on to critical acclaim and box-office success.

However, one conservative US critic has blamed the recent poor US box-office performance of the film Steve Jobs on a political tweet sent by actor Seth Rogan.

John Nolte, a reviewer and editor for news outlet Breitbart, told the Hollywood Reporter he believes audiences were put off by Rogan's tweet aimed at Republican candidate Ben Carson, which read: "F*** you @RealBenCarson."

Nolte argues that the political comments of actors do have an impact on box office and warns that a similar fate may await the upcoming Tarantino film, The Hateful Eight, after his "nasty" comments about police.

The film, starring Kurt Russell, Samuel L Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh, opens in limited release on Christmas Day. By then, conservative outrage may have found a new target.

Recommended

America’s vigilante killings: a ‘terrifying trend’
Person holds sign reading 'the whole system is guilty!'
In Focus

America’s vigilante killings: a ‘terrifying trend’

‘Amendments to the government’s policing bill are dictators’ powers’
Kill the Bill protests in London in May 2021
Instant Opinion

‘Amendments to the government’s policing bill are dictators’ powers’

Sebold, Lucky and the wrongful rape conviction
Author Alice Sebold in 2018
In Depth

Sebold, Lucky and the wrongful rape conviction

Ghislaine Maxwell: the allegations examined
Ghislaine Maxwell
Why we’re talking about . . .

Ghislaine Maxwell: the allegations examined

Popular articles

19 advent calendars for adults
Selection of advent calendars
The wish list

19 advent calendars for adults

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life
Vladimir Putin and his now ex-wife Lyudmila Putina
Profile

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life

Trump ‘upset his son won’t say he loves him’
Donald and Barron Trump
Tall Tales

Trump ‘upset his son won’t say he loves him’

The Week Footer Banner