Michael Moore Defends Quentin Tarantino Against Police Boycott

"I think millions of us not only stand with Tarantino, we're going to make sure we go see his next movie," documentarian writes

Michael Moore has come to the defense of Quentin Tarantino following the director's remarks about police brutality at an October rally Credit: EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP

As more police unions across the country join the boycott against Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film The Hateful Eight, fellow filmmaker Michael Moore has pledged his support for the director. Tarantino drew the ire of law enforcement after sharing his views about police brutality at a Rise Up October rally in New York on October 20th, and the documentarian has now defended Tarantino on Instagram, writing, "They're just frightened and in shock that a well-known and respected white guy would dare to speak out."

"Quentin Tarantino, a brave and good American, standing with families who've lost loved ones to police violence," Moore wrote in the caption of a photo of Tarantino at the rally. "Now certain police, the same ones who defend the cops who've killed unarmed innocent black citizens, are out to get Tarantino. They've called for a boycott of his movies. I think just the opposite. I think millions of us not only stand with Tarantino, we're going to make sure we go see his next movie! Who's with me? Stay strong Quentin."

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Moore criticized Tarantino's Hollywood brethren for not standing up with the director amid mounting boycotts from police unions. "Has any white person in this town, in the industry, stood up for Quentin Tarantino?" Moore said. "The white guy stuck his neck out there and they're trying to chop it off."

However, Real Time host Bill Maher similarly came to Tarantino's aid during the director's appearance on the show Friday night, saying that the police unions were twisting Tarantino's quote out of context.

While Tarantino has received a lack of support in Hollywood, the ACLU of Southern California applauded the director for his stance on the deaths of unarmed black men like Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice. "He has given voice to the frustrations of millions of Americans who stand for justice," the ACLU said in a statement. "And we raise our voice with his, speaking up as we have for decades to make it very clear that we condemn not the police, but police brutality and challenge the conspiracy of silence around police abuse."

Speaking to MSNBC, Tarantino said he was surprised by the outcry following his appearance at the rally, adding that he was just exercising his First Amendment rights. In an op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter, Chuck Canterbury, the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest law enforcement labor union, responded to Tarantino's claims that police unions are unfairly reacting to his freedom of speech.

"We revere the right to freedom of speech. After all, police have sworn to uphold all laws, and to protect the rights of those who act within the law, whether we agree or not," Canterbury wrote. "Conversely, we also have a Constitutional right to disagree. That's where we find ourselves wit Tarantino. His comments reflect more than just a glimpse into the mind of a very strange man, they reflect a growing misunderstanding of the administration of public safety policy in this country. He spoke publicly and with great publicity; we have reacted. He's promoting a movie; our only weapon in response is to endeavor to reduce that movie's revenue."

Canterbury added that, despite the police unions' efforts, The Hateful Eight will "probably do better than it deserves" at the box office because of all the publicity Tarantino has "ginned up" from this ordeal. The Fraternal Order of Police previously promised a "surprise" for the filmmaker.