It’s not a tumah — it’s the glorification of police traumatizing children?
An upcoming screening of the 1990 movie “Kindergarten Cop” has been canceled in Oregon amid concerns about the “current political climate,” according to the Willamette Week. The film was scheduled to kick off the NW Film Center’s Cinema Unbound, a summer-drive-in movie series in Portland, on Thursday.
Organizers said “Kindergarten Cop,” which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a police detective who goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher, was chosen for “its importance in Oregon filmmaking history.” The film, shot in Astoria, Oregon, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
According to Fox News, backlash grew in recent days after Portland author Lois Leveen criticized the movie on Twitter.
“What’s so funny about School-to-Prison pipeline? Kindergarten Cop-Out: Tell @nwfilmcenter there’s nothing fun in cops traumatizing kids. National reckoning on overpolicing is a weird time to revive ‘Kindergarten Cop.’ IRL, we are trying to end the school-to-prison pipeline,” she tweeted. “There’s nothing entertaining about the presence of police in schools, which feeds the ‘school-to-prison’ pipeline in which African American, Latinx and other kids of color are criminalized rather than educated. Five- and 6-year-olds are handcuffed and hauled off to jail routinely in this country. And this criminalizing of children increases dramatically when cops are assigned to work in schools.”
The movie doesn’t show children being handcuffed or jailed — Schwarzenegger’s character John Kimble is investigating the drug-dealing father of a student — but it does show him using a police whistle and teaching kids to march in a military fashion, in between conversations like “Who is your daddy and what does he do?” A shootout eventually ensues in the school, some in view of young children.
Leveen told the Willamette Week that she believes “Kindergarten Cop” makes light of police traumatizing schoolchildren.
“It’s true ‘Kindergarten Cop’ is only a movie. So are ‘Birth of a Nation’ and ‘Gone With the Wind,’ but we recognize films like those are not ‘good family fun,’” she told the publication. “They are relics of how pop culture feeds racist assumptions. … Because despite what the movie shows, in reality, schools don’t transform cops. Cops transform schools, and in an extremely detrimental way.”
The NW Film Center said it would instead show “Good Trouble,” a documentary about recently deceased civil rights icon John Lewis, on Thursday. Another screening on Aug. 7 had already sold out.
The drive-in series, which is following safety protocols to avoid further spread of the coronavirus, also plans to show Oscar-winning film “Moonlight,” Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and the Sean Penn film “Milk.”
The controversy comes amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice; demonstrations have continued in Portland for 10 straight weeks.
Last month, the TV shows “Cops” and “Live PD” were canceled over concerns that the depictions of police and criminals on television influence the public’s expectations. Some fans argued the “cancel culture” would next come for “Law & Order,” “Blue Bloods” and “Paw Patrol,” but few predicted “Kindergarten Cop.”
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