The Northwest Film Center's Summer Drive-In series has decided to pull Kindergarten Cop from its release schedule. The Northwest Film Center was going to show the classic 1990 comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger because of "its importance in Oregon filmmaking history." However, after a series of complaints about "over-policing" tactics used in the movie, they decided to pull the plug. The decision comes after President Donald Trump ordered federal tactical teams to infiltrate Portland in order to protect federal property, where they sparred with protesters. The decision sparked outrage across the United States.
Portland Author Lois Leveen was the one leading the charge against the idea of screening Kindergarten Cop in the area. Leveen says that the movie "romanticizes over-policing in the U.S." and called for the comedy to be pulled from the Northwest Film Center's Summer Drive-In series. "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," Leveen wrote.
Lois Leveen's comments were taken seriously by the Northwest Film Center's Summer Drive-In series. They agreed to pull Kindergarten Cop. Instead, they are going to show a second screening of John Lewis: Good Trouble in honor of the late congressman, after the first screening scheduled for August 7th quickly sold out. You can read more of what Leveen had to say below.
"Criminalizing of children increases dramatically when cops work in schools. 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."
Obviously, the decision to pull Kindergarten Cop from the Northwest Film Center's Summer Drive-In series has been divisive on social media. Many are claiming that it is "cancel culture," while also claiming that it is unfair to lump the 1990 comedy in with Birth of a Nation. With that being said, times are stressful at the moment, so people are fighting for both sides equally, which is kicking up a whole other argument. For now, Kindergarten Cop will not be shown during this summer's drive-in series, so people looking forward to the event will have to watch from home now.
Kindergarten Cop stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as an undercover police officer posing as a kindergarten teacher to catch a dangerous criminal. The hardened cop eventually strikes up a good relationship with the kids and becomes a natural teacher, even sparking up a love interest with another teacher along the way. His cover is later blown as he finds his intended target, but he ends up leaving police work behind to become a fulltime kindergarten teacher. It is one of Schwarzenegger's best-known roles from the early 1990s and it has plenty of his most quotable lines. The Washington Times was the first to report on this story.