Residents of a Los Angeles neighborhood protest against the Fast and Furious movie
Residents voiced their anger ahead of this weekend’s scheduled filming in Angelino Heights, a historic neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles. The location is the fictional home of Dominic Toretto, the character played by actor Vin Diesel in the saga.
It’s all about illegal races, “street takeovers”, where crowds usually gather at night to watch car enthusiasts rev up their engines at high speeds through the city streets.
For Damian Kevitt, a resident and founder of SAFE, an organization that campaigns against the practice, Fast and Furious has helped “glorify an illegal activity,” turning Angelino Heights into a “tourist destination for illegal street racing”.
“Fridays, Saturdays, Sunday nights, there’s going to be, three, four, five, six cars coming here to do +burnouts, and +donuts,” maneuvers where drivers squeal their tires, Damian Kevitt assures.
There was no street racing in the neighborhood before “Fast and Furious” was filmed here,” he added.
Bella, another resident who did not want to give her last name, says her children are traumatized by the noise of the cars outside their home waking them up in the middle of the night.
Bella says Universal Studios should move the filming location elsewhere, while SAFE urges the city to install speed bumps and introduce zero tolerance for street racing.
The association has also asked Universal to add a statement to Fast and Furious urging people not to participate in such races.
The first Fast and Furious film was released in 2001, and the franchise has since become the eighth highest-grossing film series in history, taking in US$6.6 billion throughout ten films.