If you were planning on watching Arnold Schwarzenegger's Kindergarten Cop at the Northwest Film Center's Summer Drive-In series, that's not going to happen, as the film has been canceled and removed from the lineup. The Northwest Film Center was slated to show the film "for its importance in Oregon filmmaking history", but Portland Author Lois Leveen responded to that announcement on Twitter with a series of tweets that took issue with the film's depiction of police in school, saying films like Kindergarten Cop "are relics of how pop culture feeds racist assumptions". She also added that it "romanticizes over-policing in the U.S.", and eventually the Northwest Film Center pulled the movie from their lineup (via Washington Times).
Leveen wrote on Twitter “There’s nothing entertaining about the presence of police in schools, which feeds the ‘school-to-prison’ pipeline in which African American, Latinx, and other kids of color are criminalized rather than educated."
"Criminalizing of children increases dramatically when cops work in schools,” Leveen continued. “Yes, KINDERGARTEN COP is only a movie. So are BIRTH OF A NATION and GONE WITH THE WIND, but we recognize films like those are not ‘good family fun.’ They are relics of how pop culture feeds racist assumptions. KINDERGARTEN COP romanticizes over-policing in the U.S.”
The Northwest Film Center responded to Leveen's comments, confirming that it would instead screen John Lewis: Good Trouble for a second time. The first screening of the film sold out.
“Thank you for your feedback,” the response read. “Due to overwhelming demand, the Northwest Film Center has added a second showing of John Lewis: Good Trouble to the Cinema Unbound Drive-In at Zidell Yards, with tickets on sale now at http://nwfilm.org. The additional showing on August 6 replaces Kindergarten Cop, which had been chosen for its importance in Oregon filmmaking history. After discussion with staff and community members, however, we agreed that at this moment in history, John Lewis: Good Trouble is the right film to open this year’s Drive-In series.”
If you're unfamiliar with Kindergarten Cop, you can read the description below.
"Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as an undercover cop posing as a kindergarten teacher in order to catch a dangerous criminal. Once he wrangles his young charges, as well as the affections of a beautiful teacher (Penelope Ann Miller), he prepares for a final showdown with his intended prey in this action-comedy from director Ivan Reitman."