Paramount has taken down about a half dozen billboard ads for 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” near Los Angeles area schools in response to parents’ complaints that they glorified gangs and violence.
The billboards depict the rap star –with his tattooed and bullet-scarred back to the camera — holding a gun in one hand and a microphone in the other.
The film, directed by Jim Sheridan, is a biographical portrait of 50 Cent and centers on a drug dealer-gangster who gives up crime to become a musician. It opens Nov. 9.
One of the affected billboards taken down was next to a school in the Hyde Park area, site of a rally this week urging Paramount to remove the ad. Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich sent a letter to Par asking for removal of the billboards, asserting they promoted gun violence.
50 Cent’s albums, “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” and “Massacre” have sold over 11 million copies.
Depiction of firearms on movies billboards — such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for Fox’s “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” — usually doesn’t provoke significant protest.