You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pic a foul ball, Chi sez

Reeves starrer 'Hardball' protested for negative portrayal of youths

Two Chicago officials say Paramount’s Windy City-set pic “Hardball” is not playing fair with foul language.

Mayor Richard Daley and public schools head Paul Vallas ripped the Keanu Reeves starrer for its profanity-peppered portrayal of inner-city youth, many of them black. Reality-based tale, stemming from the book “Hardball: A Season in the Projects,” chronicles a baseball team comprised of kids from Chi’s toughest housing projects. Reeves plays the team’s coach.

During a public appearance Wednesday, Mayor Daley told reporters the movie appeared to be ignoring the inner-city tykes’ positive traits and “trying to portray these kids as saying four-letter words.”

Added Vallas, according to Reuters, “This is not ‘The Bad News Bears’ that we’re filming here. This is an R-rated movie that seems to be reinforcing negative stereotypes about inner-city children.”

Neither Daley nor Vallas could be reached for comment Thursday.

Par officials noted the pic, which is three weeks into shooting, is not slated for a specific MPA rating.

Studio had no further comment except for a short statement asserting “Hardball” is “a dramatic work of fiction. While it is inspired by real events, all of the characters in this film are fictional.”

A small protest on the movie’s set Wednesday was organized by Bob Muzikowski, one of the real-life coaches who contends the kids depicted in the movie were never allowed to swear.

“We are kind of heartbroken,” Muzikowski told the Chicago Sun-Times, whose headline blared “Hey, Keanu, Clean Up Your Movie.” “They have come into our town and taken a wonderful story and dirtied it up because they think they know how black kids act.”

More Film

  • Wonderstruck

    ‘Wonderstruck’ Colorist Joe Gawler on How Film's Multi-Period Look Was Created

    Two Chicago officials say Paramount’s Windy City-set pic “Hardball” is not playing fair with foul language. Mayor Richard Daley and public schools head Paul Vallas ripped the Keanu Reeves starrer for its profanity-peppered portrayal of inner-city youth, many of them black. Reality-based tale, stemming from the book “Hardball: A Season in the Projects,” chronicles a […]

  • Sarah Jones

    ICG President Steven Poster Pushes On-Set Safety, Slams Government’s Anti-Union Stance

    Two Chicago officials say Paramount’s Windy City-set pic “Hardball” is not playing fair with foul language. Mayor Richard Daley and public schools head Paul Vallas ripped the Keanu Reeves starrer for its profanity-peppered portrayal of inner-city youth, many of them black. Reality-based tale, stemming from the book “Hardball: A Season in the Projects,” chronicles a […]

  • Isle of Dogs

    Production Designer Adam Stockhausen on Building Wes Anderson's Worlds

    Two Chicago officials say Paramount’s Windy City-set pic “Hardball” is not playing fair with foul language. Mayor Richard Daley and public schools head Paul Vallas ripped the Keanu Reeves starrer for its profanity-peppered portrayal of inner-city youth, many of them black. Reality-based tale, stemming from the book “Hardball: A Season in the Projects,” chronicles a […]

  • On Body and Soul Hungarian Movie

    Hungary's 'On Body and Soul' Wins Top Award at Camerimage Film Festival

    Two Chicago officials say Paramount’s Windy City-set pic “Hardball” is not playing fair with foul language. Mayor Richard Daley and public schools head Paul Vallas ripped the Keanu Reeves starrer for its profanity-peppered portrayal of inner-city youth, many of them black. Reality-based tale, stemming from the book “Hardball: A Season in the Projects,” chronicles a […]

  • 'Incredibles 2' Gets First Teaser Trailer

    'Incredibles 2' Gets First Teaser Trailer From Disney-Pixar

    Two Chicago officials say Paramount’s Windy City-set pic “Hardball” is not playing fair with foul language. Mayor Richard Daley and public schools head Paul Vallas ripped the Keanu Reeves starrer for its profanity-peppered portrayal of inner-city youth, many of them black. Reality-based tale, stemming from the book “Hardball: A Season in the Projects,” chronicles a […]

  • John Bailey Academy President

    Academy President John Bailey on Extending Oscars' Global Reach

    Two Chicago officials say Paramount’s Windy City-set pic “Hardball” is not playing fair with foul language. Mayor Richard Daley and public schools head Paul Vallas ripped the Keanu Reeves starrer for its profanity-peppered portrayal of inner-city youth, many of them black. Reality-based tale, stemming from the book “Hardball: A Season in the Projects,” chronicles a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content