Police, theater owners and movie executives had worried about violence breaking out at last weekend’s “Straight Outta Compton” premiere.
According to The Wall Street Journal who spoke to several theater executives, Universal Pictures offered to “reimburse theaters for security guards during opening-weekend screenings of “Straight Outta Compton.”
The Journal says the unusual step was taken not only because of the anti-police message N.W.A xxx back in the day, but because of a combination of continuing racial tensions across the country and because of the recent theater attacks on moviegoers as well.
Its timing they said is not just because the subject matter and the characters in the movie are black.
Well, there was NO violence of any kind reported this weekend at any “Straight Outta Compton” showing anywhere!
CNN discussed that yesterday with the headline, “Hip-Hop Film Had Long Lines, No Violence” and surprisingly got flack for reporting positive news.
On Monday a site called Think Progress wrote that CNN was “Surprised ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Didn’t Cause Violence, Earned Record Money Instead.
CNN was not surprised at the film’s success; no more so than the film’s producers, distributors and stars who estimated the movie would take in $25-$30million, half of what it made.
Think Progress also got the name of the anchor wrong.
Here’s part of the segment:
“In light of everything that’s going on in the country I think the theaters took the right choice by making sure that not knowing, because so much is unpredictable today in our society. And of course this is a movie that for some creates some concern. But however there was no reported that I’m aware of no reported incidents. So I think that speaks hugely to the crowds that went to watch this movie.”
That was CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Cedric Alexander who happens to be African American and a former beat cop who was on the streets when N.W.A. were at their height of fame and influence.
He was speaking to CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield by the way, not Carol Costello as The Think Progress article reported.
Alexander praised the movie and the crowd in the segment.
But he also urged people to understand that members of N.W.A. used that language a long time ago and may not necessarily feel that way now.
He also credits them with coming up with a way of getting the message out about police abuse in the only way they knew how; by being provocateurs.
“Those young men who lived that experience out in L.A. and L.A. county at that time, that was probably their only way of projecting what their anger is. However, the flip side of that is we cannot paint with a broad brush that all police are bad because they’re not.
“So, yes I understand what they experienced and we understand what this country is going through today. But the way that we’re going to move forward is what’s important, to move away from f the police to support the police and the police support community as well too.. So that’s where we need to be today Ashleigh.”
Accountability on both sides, while not popular, it is certainly the right thing to do.
Another great conversation sparked by blockbuster movie and some N.W.A.’s.