Boycotting Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, Among Others

tarantino

Police unions across the U.S. are calling for its members to support a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.

What provoked their ire? Tarantino attended a Black Lives matter rally in NYC on October 24th. “This is not being dealt with in any way at all,” Tarantino said. “That’s why we are out here. If it was being dealt with, then these murdering cops would be in jail or at least be facing charges. When I see murders, I do not stand by. I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”

The National Association of Police Organizations, representing 10-hateful-eight-yelling_w529_h352_2xnearly a quarter million sworn law enforcement officers asks “officers to stop working special assignments or off-duty jobs, such as providing security, traffic control or technical advice for any of Tarantino’s projects. We need to send a loud and clear message that such hateful rhetoric against police officers is unacceptable. The police he is calling murderers are the same officers who were present along the protest route to ensure the safety of protesters, who provide security when he is filming, and who put their lives on the line to protect our communities day in and day out.”

This is not the first time, nor, dare I say, the last that a major film has met with resistance. Ender’s Game, you might recall, was released under a cloud of controversy because the author of the book, Orson enders-game-harrison-ford-asa-butterfield1Scott Card, was a raging homophobe. People boycotted and refused to give their money to such a cad, despite the fact that their movie ticket purchases were not directly lining his pocket, and that neither the book nor the movie, starring Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield, contain any overt homophobic material. Paradoxically, Card’s book sales continue to rise, and he sees any controversy as free publicity. So just how effective are these boycotts, anyway?

Catholics have been urged to boycott all kinds of movies – The Da Vinci code being a recent one, as well as The Golden Compass for its reported anti-Christian agenda.

Lately, white people were called on to boycott the Thor movie, the Council of Conservative Citizens justifying the call to action with the following statement:  “It seems that Marvel Studios believes that white people should have nothing that is unique to themselves. An upcoming moIdris-Elba-in-Thor-The-Dark-World-2013-Movie-Imagevie, based on the comic book Thor, will give Norse mythology an insulting multi-cultural make-over. One of the Gods will be played by Hip Hop DJ Idris Elba.” A black god? Impossible! Is nothing sacred??? Racist trolls do not know when to shut the fuck up and they’re at it again, this time with Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens in their crosshairs. #BoycottStarWarJohn-Boyega-in-Star-WarssVII they say, because JJ Abrams, a “white-hating Hollywood Jew” is perpetrating a “white genocide” on the Star Wars universe by casting multiple people of colour. I don’t know Abrams but I’m guessing he doesn’t mind if these jerks stay home.

You know who else may have stayed home and nobody noticed? The “men’s rights activists” who called a boycott against Mad Max: Fury Road for being a “feminist piece of propaganda posing as a guy flick.” They were concerned that unsuspecting men “are going to be duped by explosions, fire tornadoes, and desert raiders into seeing 75what is guaranteed to be nothing more than feminist propaganda, while at the same time being insulted AND tricked into viewing a piece of American culture ruined and rewritten right in front of their very eyes. Let us be clear. This is the vehicle by which they are guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. This is the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things, including physique, strength, and logic.” These sweethearts prohibit women and homosexuals from posting on their site at all, so I can’t even call them the ass monkeys they are. Guess I’ll have to defer to our male readership – men, do you feel duped?

Other movie boycotts:

Aloha – for making a movie about Hawaii and failing to cast a single Hawaiian, and for having the audacity to call Emma Stone just a very pale Hawaiian

Exodus: Gods and Kings: again, for an all-white cast  in brown face playing Middle Easterners

Sicario: the mayor of the city featured in the movie and about 30 of its residents are boycotting because they say the movie is “out of date” because the 8 murders a day figure has vastly improved since 2010

50 Shades of Grey: for showing domestic violence and calling it erotic

There’s a can of worms here that’s hard to really comment on. You may take issue with some or all or none of these things. But does a trumboboycott just impose your own judgements on someone else? And at what point do we start nearing Trumbo territory? Remember Hollywood’s shame: the blacklisting scandal. Dalton Trumbo was a famed screen writer who was jailed and blacklisted (which meant no one would hire him) because of his political beliefs – or his perceived political beliefs, because blacklisting became a witch hunt and there was no such thing as a fair trial before your career was ripped away from you. So I wonder if any film maker, whether pro-gay or anti-gay, for example, should suffer the same fate. Do people have the right to think and say what they really believe, and do we have a right to deprive them of their livelihood if we disagree?

And for that matter, do we then start boycotting people like Woody Allen for being a weirdo and probably a pedophile? And Christian Bale for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister? There are actually a LOT of unsavoury characters in Hollywood and it seems impossible to avoid all of them for their various transgressions. I have neither the time nor the inclination to vet the beliefs and behaviours of every artist, and I have even less inclination to have them vetted for me by the squeakiest wheel.

Should we just boycott anyone who has different beliefs than our own? But isn’t that what art is about – challenging our preconceptions, sampling different viewpoints? We don’t have to agree with them of course, but isn’t a good thing to read and watch and experience from a variety of sources?

Back to Tarantino. No one has a problem with the movie because no one’s seen it. They have a problem with what he said – which, from what I can tell, is actually a pretty inarguable fact. Cops are Tarantino-1-e1446380773154gunning down black kids just for being black. Which is not to say that all cops are like this, or even most. But there is a discernible problem with racism, and when you give them all guns, even a small racist minority can turn really deadly. Since when is it wrong to point out flaws in the system? Isn’t it the job of artists in particular to provide social commentary?

Which of these movies would you boycott?

 

 

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50 thoughts on “Boycotting Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, Among Others

  1. emmakwall

    Very interesting. And since when was Idris Elba a “Hip Hop DJ” ?!!!

    The police are showing themselves up as far as Tarantino is concerned. He’s only asking that people be charged for the crimes they commit, he’s not declaring war against the entire US police department, though they are reacting as though he has!

    Liked by 2 people

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  2. StephLove

    Back when people were boycotting Chik-Fil-A– which I realize is not a movie– I was without the ability to boycott because I never eat there anyway, being a vegetarian and not much into fast food. It’s not like they’d miss my business, right? While I do like going to the movies (and miss the days I went more frequently) I go so seldom (a few times a year) that I can hardly think of not seeing any given film as boycotting it. That said, I’d never see 50 Shades of Gray for many reasons, only some of which are political. It was supposed to be pretty terribly made as well. That said, I did picket Fatal Attraction (I think it was Fatal Attraction– was that the on in the 90s with the evil bisexual woman?) when I was younger and more likely to go to protests. I wouldn’t do it now.

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  3. Brittani

    The only thing I’m boycotting is the TLC network for putting the Duggar familiy on TV again. Otherwise I rarely listen to movie boycotts. I think that Police Union are missing the point, he’s not calling all cops murderers, just the ones who have killed to be held accountable for.

    It’s funny to reminisce about The Golden Compass outrage though. That was kind of hilarious.

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. jameshaseltine

    I don’t really buy into boycotting films for the purpose of furthering a minority political agenda. Your point about artitsts and social commentary is perfect and pretty much sums up this gross exaggeration of what Tarantino is trying to say

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. Karl Restoule

    Now I feel guilty for my attempted boycott of Mama Mia. Wait, the guilt has passed. Seriously though, I’m not a fan of using a boycott to squash an opinion that is against my personal beliefs.

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  6. kdcol

    I’ll watch what I want to watch. I may take the people involved and their (what I consider to be) unsavory behavior into consideration but in the end, it’s my personal decision. And oh how I wish race/sex didn’t come up at all in regards to who is playing a character. It just doesn’t matter. If it’s a good actor, that minutiae melts away anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. DotedOn

    I’m not sure I boycott movies… I do avoid watching them if my friends Nicole or Russell are on them… Actually, the list is a bit longer.
    And I don’t plan on watching 50 shades either. 🙂

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  8. Christopher

    This may seem like a weaselly response but I’m fine with people calling for boycotts even if they’re ineffective for the same reason I’m fine with people whose views I may disagree with making movies. Filmmaking on a grand scale is an industry and if a film tanks or even fails to get made that can be caused by a lot of factors. A boycott, or even the threat of one, may have nothing to do with it.
    And just as I appreciate a film that challenges my views if it does so in a thoughtful and well-informed way I think boycott campaigns do have value if they inform and educate people. To take the example of “Ender’s Game” I was reading a comment thread calling for a boycott and someone said, “So Card doesn’t like homosexuals. It’s not like he’s doing anything to make their lives more difficult.”
    This led to several replies about Card’s affiliation with the National Organization For Marriage, a group whose sole mission is to make life difficult for LGBT people. I like to think people benefited from that information. They may or may not have chosen to avoid “Ender’s Game” but at least they learned something about Card they might not have known.
    I know this isn’t an easy needle to thread and I appreciate the thoughtful way you’re doing it here. You reminded me of John Milton’s ‘A Speech For The Liberty Of Unlicensed Printing’ in which he said, “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

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  9. Carrie Rubin

    I think Tarantino could have addressed the issue better than he did, but that being said, like you, I’m not sure boycotts have much affect. People still go to see celebrities in movies who say or do stupid things. I think it comes down to each individual. We need to decide whether we personally want to see something associated with an issue that offends us. But whether our neighbor down the street decides to see it or not is really none of our business.

    But as for the Thor, Star Wars, and MadMax vitriol–ugh. The people who are angry over which actors are cast have far too much time on their hands, in my opinion. I love seeing a diverse cast, so I say bring it on. I’m still hoping for Idris Elba as James Bond. Wouldn’t he be great in that role?

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Birgit

    I would never boycott any film…to me that is called censorship and I have a problem with that. If I don’t want to see a film, then I won’t go and see it. Every person has a right to their opinions even if they mean well but say it in the wrong way. I really don’t get why people are up in arms over a black person playing the lead in Star Wars…why not?! I, myself, will probably boycott Donald Trump’s hair once it leaves its nest, called Trump’s head and reveals it has the real brains

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  11. kmSalvatore

    Lol all I have to see is the Pope
    or church “ban” a movie, and I need to go see it😂.
    As for Tarrintino, well that’s all together different .
    I wonder if He’s ever gone on a ride along?
    Hey I’m just wondering is all . But no ibwontcsee Hus movie, I usually need to see his movies more than once to understand them.

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  12. Liz A.

    Deep sigh. If I have a problem with a movie, I don’t go. This calling for boycotts is the way people try to shame others into behaving the way they want them to. I don’t know if it works.

    Liked by 2 people

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  13. Wendell

    No, I’m not going to be boycotting any movies. To me, art is about making us uncomfortable or at least making us deal with uncomfortable things in an effort to stretch our own horizons. There are plenty of movies espousing ideals I disagree with, Black or White being a recent one. I wrote a lengthy post about it, but I wouldn’t dream of calling for a boycott of it. Boycotting movies usually accomplishes nothing but making them more popular because people want to see what’s the big deal. The only things worth boycotting, in my opinion, are institutionalized policies and practices that blatantly trample the rights of people in the real world.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Jordan Dodd

      I find boycotting to be kind of silly. The film will still sell tickets, it will still get made, what are these people gaining by boycotting a movie? I don’t get it. I guess boycotting is a concept I’ll never truly understand

      And like you said, what Tarantino said is inarguable fact. The militarisation of the US police forces is effing scary, I actually posted a review recently about a doco – PEACE OFFICER – that deals with that and what Tarantino has talked about.

      I find it funny that people actually refused to see Mad Max for those reasons. It just seems so pointless!

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  14. Jordan Dodd

    I find boycotting to be kind of silly. The film will still sell tickets, it will still get made, what are these people gaining by boycotting a movie? I don’t get it. I guess boycotting is a concept I’ll never truly understand

    And like you said, what Tarantino said is inarguable fact. The militarisation of the US police forces is effing scary, I actually posted a review recently about a doco – PEACE OFFICER – that deals with that and what Tarantino has talked about.

    I find it funny that people actually refused to see Mad Max for those reasons. It just seems so pointless!

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  15. J.

    I had read about this Police Union vs. Tarantino shenanigans and think the call to boycott says an awfy lot about the culture within the Police Union. Really pretty shocking state of affairs.

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. calensariel

    There are always going to be people who cry for a boycott. Chances are anyone who would join wouldn’t have gone to see the movie anyway. By giving them a platform to scream from — making it seem more important than it is — we’re just adding fuel to their fire. And the truth is, people don’t even have to have SEEN a movie or READ a particular book to call for a boycott, as you suggested.

    Case in point. Black Lives Matter was also a book written for young people to try and put all this “stuff” in a historical context. The co-author of that book has a blog on here. She was asked by her publisher to study the situation and write about it. They gave her the title of the book they wanted — maybe without even considering the stir it might create. Before that book was even released, Fox News got hold of it somehow and the sh*t hit the fan. She got up that morning to an inbox loaded with hate mail and nasty comments on her social media. She was floored. (read about her here: Sue Bradford Edwards… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-people-are-criticizing-a-black-lives-matter-book-for-kids_55f0570de4b002d5c07781ad )

    Anyway, my point is people are just gonna bitch and bellyache no matter what. That’s just what people do. Why shine the spotlight on them and give them the podium? We need to think for ourselves and not get caught up in the herd mentality like sheeple. JMO…

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  17. ridicuryder

    Jay,

    I think it would be ultra cool if someone (maybe Tarantino) would get a good group of actors / production people together, make a film and then only screen it for themselves. The movie never gets released! Reverse boycott the entire fucking public…then destroy it. 🙂

    This dominatrix I heard talk a while back was very unimpressed with 50 Shades, but was quite pleased that millions of suburban housewives now wanted to be spanked from time to time. Silver linings can be kinda fun.

    RR

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      1. ridicuryder

        Exactly. If you’re talking to Quentin, it might be good to mention that he could also invite the Assholes, the Honorary Assholes, me and a few of my buddies along with all his peeps to the one-time screening of his Reverse Boycott Masterpiece (working title)…since we came up with the idea.

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  18. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

    Great editorial, James! Really insightful. I couldn’t agree more with you. This boycotting stuff is ridiculous. Tarantino is either accused of being racist or for standing up for Black Lives Matter. It makes no sense. A cop shot someone in Canada (using excessive force) and was arrested. That makes sense. Most cops are heroes, but some are excessive. Tarantino is talking about the bad seeds.

    As for other movies you mention, I had no idea about a lot of this. The Elba thing is actually kinda funny. So ridiculous. The most shocking stuff is with Star Wars. If anything, I was like yes we finally get a black hero that’s not Will Smith 😉 There are far too few massive roles for minorities, be it Black, Asian, LGBT, or women. I think it’s about time that a big blockbuster like Star Wars have lead heroes who happen to be a black guy and a young woman. Now some little kids will have a myth to inspire them… when haven’t until 2015?!

    Impressive analysis, James. This is your lane – using film as an excuse to express yourself. Art does this.. Loved your article. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Jay Post author

      Thanks, Dan. I think it’s crazy how these boycotts sound so silly to us, and yet the people starting them are in all seriousness. That’s kind of scary. But yes, it’s also disappointing that we’ve waited until 2015 for some of these things to be happening. I guess some people think that if someone’s in a sci-fi adventure and they’re not white, they’d better be blue…but lordy I hope that’s still just a stupid, stupid minority!

      Liked by 1 person

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  19. Dan

    Have police been told to stop working on assignments that directly or indirectly impact Tarantino’s film productions or literally not go to the cinema to see the movie?

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  20. Arlee Bird

    I’m unprejudiced–I boycott all films in theaters. I just don’t go to the theater anymore. It’s cheaper and easier just to watch them at home. And it takes less time to do it.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  21. In My Cluttered Attic

    I’d probably not boycott any of the films. Besides, if I was so inclined I wouldn’t have the time. However, I don’t disagree with Mr. Tarantino’s assertion. And, I also agree with emmakwall when she said that it was not like he was declaring war on all police. Just those who give the large majority of good men and woman officers a bad name.

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