After request from MP Tamara Leonard: Cinema drops showing Straight Outta Compton

POSTED: 08/14/15 9:36 AM


St. Maarten – “No reason,” says Shaun Green, managing director of the Megaplex cinema in Simpson Bay about the decision to drop the showing of Straight Outta Compton. The headquarters of Caribbean Cinemas in Puerto Rico could not be reached for a further comment, because nobody picked up the phone. An email went unanswered up to press time. The movie was scheduled to show starting this Thursday, but in the course of yesterday, the cinema took the movie off its web site.

The cinema pulled the movie quickly after United People’s party MP Tamara Leonard sent a request in writing to the company and to the censorship committee.

Leonard’s main reason to ask for the ban is the shooting of police Officer Gamali Benjamin last week.

“The hit song from the movie F* the Police transmits the sentiment that our officers and the law are not to be obeyed if youngsters want to earn their stripes,” Leonard stated in her letter.

In fact, the F* the Police song – written by Ice Cube – appears in the movie “after multiple scenes in which racist and abusive LAPD officers humiliate the rappers and their neighbors for no reason,” John Defore notes in a review of the movie in Hollywood Reporter..

This is the movie’s story line, written by Universal Pictures: “In 1987, five young men, using brutally honest rhymes and hardcore beats, put their frustration and anger about life in the most dangerous place in America into the most powerful weapon they had: their music. Taking us back to where it all began, Straight Outta Compton tells the true story of how these cultural rebels-armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado and raw talent-stood up to the authorities that meant to keep them down and formed the world’s most dangerous group, N.W.A. And as they spoke the truth that no one had before and exposed life in the hood, their voice ignited a social revolution that is still reverberating today.

MP Leonard however has interpreted the movie content as “while a biopic, it has much to do with violence and antagonism against law enforcement, the police.”

In that sense, showing the movie so shortly after the Benjamin-killing, would be insensitive, the MP notes in a press statement. “The screening will show a grave lack of respect to our hardworking officers who put their lives on the line for us every day.”

Furthermore, Leonard notes, the movie depicts many aspects of a lifestyle “that may have influenced the young men who committed the robbery on Front Street and thought nothing of it to aim a gun at a police officer.”

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