“Straight Outta Compton” debuted at No. 1 in theaters this weekend earning $56.1 million and received high praise perhaps nowhere more than Compton, California.
The film, which chronicles gangsta rap group N.W.A's rise to fame and their intolerance for police brutality, also attracted less-enthused police officers who swarmed theaters during the movie’s opening weekend in LA -- and other theaters across the country.
One city official in Florida credited the enhanced security as a “safety and liability thing, not a racial thing,” while some theaters in Florida decided to forego screening the film altogether. Meanwhile, others shared criticism -- a writer from The Root described the heightened police presence as a move “straight outta racist playbook.”
“Show me the genius who came up with that plan so I can shake their hand. Or, tell the truth: Movie theaters are using the ‘anti-police’ line to thinly disguise their buy-in to dangerous stereotypes about black criminality and violence,” writer Kirsten West Savali wrote on The Root.
Despite police officers' looming anticipation of violence, the peace surrounding the theater was not disturbed in Compton on Friday night, nor any night following the film’s debut. Christopher Stoudt, a 30-year-old filmmaker, visited Compton and made a video to prove it.
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