Black =/= Violent



Universal Pictures to ‘support’ theaters that request ‘extra security’ at ‘Compton’ screenings

This article title has been all over my social media accounts the past few days. I find it rather unnecessary and very insulting. According to an article on The Grio, “Although there have been hundreds of pre-release screenings without incident, there is some concern that the movie‘s gang-related themes may be cause for worry. 

Last month, two women were killed when they attended the movie Trainwreck by a man who randomly shot them before shooting himself. And earlier this month, during a screening of Mad Max: Fury Road, a man brought a pellet gun and a hatchet to a Tennessee theater and sprayed movie-goers with pepper spray.”

And we all remember James Holmes, the gunman who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison this year for the 2012 Aurora shooting at a Dark Knight Rises showing that killed 12 and injured 70. NOTHING was put in place after these tragedies, yet when moviegoers in Los Angeles showed up for the premiere of the hip-hop film Straight Outta Compton this week, they were greeted by a sight rarely seen in America’s cinemas: metal detectors. This occurred in several cities across the country according to friends’ Facebook statuses.

I find it odd that actual shootings and deaths did not prompt enhanced security measures BUT the moment F. Gary Gray, an black movie and music director from my youth, pops back into the spotlight with a film about a rap group, noooowwww we need enhanced security. Because black people.

Some don’t want to believe this, but the majority of America sees melanin and immediately thinks the worst. A large group of casually dressed black people is seen as a threat.

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Well I was at the theater on Friday night at 10 o’clock. For months I was excited to see this movie since I listened to the radio edits of their songs as a kid and am a lover of music. My friends and hundreds of others were forced to wait in a long line up until the moment the movie should have been starting, and it even started 15 minutes late. But guess what…there was no violence before, during, or after in my St. Louis theater. Well lookey there, Universal Pictures. People acted normal. And while I wasn’t at a theater with extra security, possibly because they only have one screening room, I still wonder if Universal Pictures would be surprised by this.

As I scoured the internet Saturday morning looking for incidents that occurred at the theaters in other cities showing Straight Outta Compton, I had trouble finding anything. But wait, I thought the blacks were going to get chaotic, Universal Pictures?

What I did see is high approval ratings for the film (because the acting and story line were wonderful) and I also saw that Friday night supporters brought the film almost $25 million. I wonder if the news attempt to scare moviegoers effected this number. Could it have brought in more money? Did some people choose not to support on the first night because they thought there would be violence?

Those who don’t connect with the black experience may have already dismissed the film upon viewing the commercial, thinking they’d have little to no interest in the topic. And yes it has themes of police brutality and gang-involvement, but as Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr. stated in the movie, their art was a reflection of their reality. But this is a reality some don’t want to know still exists today. They’d rather pretend life mimics that of Friends, Parenthood, and the likes. 

But Straight Outta Compton is a story anyone who loves music and the story behind the rise of artists would enjoy. It should be supported and to prove that point, I plan to go a second time!Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 10.50.06 AM