The first unspooling of “Poetic Justice” at Universal City’s Cineplex Odeon went off without incident Wednesday. But many patrons complained that the film hadn’t opened there July 23 as it did elsewhere nationwide.
Asked about Cineplex’s controversial decision not to open the film for fear of “violence,” Smurfey-B, lead rapper of the band Juvenile Committee, said, “It don’t make us feel good. It’s starting to look like black people don’t get the chance. It ain’t nothing but racism.”
Cineplex declined comment.
The consensus among customers after the first afternoon screening was disapproval of Cineplex’s decision.
Some said they plan to attend the peaceful protest skedded for Saturday at Universal City Plaza by the Black American Political Assn. of California.
In a statement issued Wednesday, BAPAC’s L.A. chairwoman, Dorothy Jackson, said, “Although the Universal Cinema is operated by a private company, it is illegal to discourage service to patrons because of their race … The people who run Cineplex Odeon think they’re creating a family environment. The reality is that they have created an environment of exclusion, separateness and racism which is not conducive to healing the city of Los Angeles.
“We decry their treatment and disrespect of the black community….”