Posted Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 06:41 AM PDT by RD Ross
Parents at Golden Day Preschool (watch video) in Los Angeles are in an outrage. Right above where they drop their kids off is a billboard for 50 Cent’s upcoming movie Get Rich or Die Tryin'. The ad prominently displays the rapper/actor holding a gun in one hand and a microphone in the other. Community leaders see this as a blatant endorsement of gun use and violence. A boycott has been called by several organizations, including the local NAACP and Stop The Violence Increase The Peace, among others.
Najee Ali, of Project Islamic HOPE, pointed out, "Gun violence is one of the leading causes of death for young black males in South Central Los Angeles and across urban America.” In the last year there were 379 homicides in Los Angeles, as of October 8th, 2005. Of these murders, 71% included the use of guns. But Ali doesn’t blame 50 Cent for the ad. “It's irresponsible for Paramount Pictures to promote and market a movie that glorifies carrying guns,” he said. "We demand that Paramount Pictures remove these negative images of death and destruction, images that our young children are influenced by." Paramount has yet to respond.
Now, I'm not even going to get into my thoughts on "Fitty", his lifestyle, his lyrics, or anything else (and believe me, I do have some issues, as a mom and a hip-hop fan), because I agree with Najee Ali on where the responsibility for this ad campaign lies--squarely on the shoulders of Paramount Pictures. There were alternatives to that particular billboard, particularly in proximity to preschools and high schools (there are no reports as yet, of these images being placed near elementary or high schools or civic centers in the inner cities, but that doesn't mean they're not there).
The main publicity image for the movie, the one most prominently featured on Paramount's official website for the film appears to be this one,
which in my opinion is even WORSE, featuring "Fitty" from the back, holding an infant, but with a handgun tucked into the back of his pants. I'm offended by this in so many ways, I can't see straight.
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, California 90038
Moviesparamount/50 cent/ /Get Rich or Die Tryin/'//golden day preschool/