Fast & Furious 10 Filming Protested in LA as Locals Say Series Has Ruined Neighborhood
Illegal street racing continues to be a problem in L.A., and some residents blame Universal Studios.
As the city of Los Angeles battles illegal street racing and takeovers, locals are blaming Universal Studios. While the Fast and Furious franchise itself isn't responsible for illegal street racers—Universal has actually run several campaigns discouraging them—car-based shenanigans have increased since the first movie debuted back in 2001. Angelino Heights is one area that's been featured in several Fast and Furious movies, and it has since become a hotbed for racing, donuts, and smokey burnouts. Now, locals are starting to protest the filming of Fast X, the series' next installment.
According to Variety, the Fast and Furious franchise isn't what citizens are upset with directly, but they feel the movies encourage street racing and other illegal activity, even if it's unintentional. “The fact that these people can find the actual spot and then just go torment the people living there is irresponsible,” one resident told Variety. “Of course, they [Universal Studios] didn’t know when they made the movie that it would be such a cultural phenomenon.”
The location in question is the neighborhood surrounding Bob's Market, in Angelino Heights, which is the building used as Dom's family store in the movies. It isn't just the street racing and smokey donuts that are bothering neighbors, though. In many cases, property is being destroyed, garbage cans are being lit on fire, and one resident even claimed to have had a gun pulled on them. Oftentimes, they say, racers will crash their cars and flee the scene, leaving the residents to deal with the damages.
Universal has filed a permit to begin filming Fast X outside of Bob's Market this Friday. According to FilmLA, who's responsible for film permits in Los Angeles, Universal's request involves “simulated emergency services activity, aerial photography, wetting down of street, and atmospheric smoke.”
Variety was able to get hold of an email from an L.A. resident which states, “If this film shoot is allowed to go forward in Angelino Heights, or any part of it from F10 Productions (Universal) … we will stage a huge protest and will invite many reporters and news cameras to film us protesting this film shoot all day and night.”
The email continues, “We will hold this protest to honor the 178 people who have been killed by street racers in Los Angeles, and to shame Universal for their callous disregard for this deadly epidemic of street racing their films started and continue to promote."
However, not all Angelino Heights residents are actually concerned with Universal shooting the movies there. Instead, they're concerned with the cultural impact the movies have. Universal seems to be aware of the issue and has reportedly given out stipends to residents to help fix and restore their homes.
This proposed protest comes just a few days after the LAPD issued a warning that cars involved in illegal street takeovers will be impounded, even spectators'. The violent crimes that stem from these sideshows cause serious problems for residents and the LAPD alike, and they ruin car culture for those who want to enjoy the hobby legally. Whether that blame should fall at the feet of movie franchises is debatable.
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