Harvey Weinstein hit back at reports that he was furious at Quentin Tarantino for speaking at an anti-police brutality rally, saying that he supported the star director and believed his comments were being misinterpreted.
Tarantino’s remarks at the October gathering, in which he equated police killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others with murder, led law enforcement groups to issue boycott threats of his upcoming film “The Hateful Eight.” The $62 million western is being back by the Weinstein Company, the indie studio that Harvey Weinstein runs with his brother Bob.
“Bob and I are getting along better than ever with Quentin,” said Weinstein. “I think he’s been misunderstood and misinterpreted.”
He added: “I respect his right to speak out for what he believes in, while at the same time respecting the sacrifices made every day by the overwhelming majority of our police officers. The two are not mutually exclusive.”
For his part, Tarantino has refused to back down. In interviews he has clarified his remarks, telling that he never meant to imply that all cops were murderers, while hitting back at what he depicted as a campaign of intimidation.
“Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out,” Tarantino told the Times. “And their message is very clear. 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.”
Weinstein and Tarantino have a long history. The indie executive has released nearly every one of the director’s films, including “Pulp Fiction” and “Jackie Brown.”
Insiders at the Weinstein Company are high on “The Hateful Eight’s” box office prospects, calling it Tarantino’s best work in years. They also claim it is one of his more political offerings — a film that offers up a plea for racial tolerance.
“The Hateful Eight” debuts in limited release on Christmas Day before expanding in early January.