‘Barbershop’ Still Brewing Controversy

Ani Asatryan
El Vaquero Staff Writer

MGM’s recent release “Barbershop” has caused notable controversy The Rev. Jesse Jackson has demanded apologies and scene deletions.

The movie was released in early September, and was number one at the box office for weeks. However, the comical references, which made the movie so popular, do not sit well with everyone.

Jackson demanded an apology from MGM and the director of the movie, Tim Story, for the references to black freedom leaders such as Rosa Parks in the movie.

The statements refer to three
“truths” that Black people need to fess up to according to Eddie, played by Cedric the Entertainer. In the movie, those truths are “O.J. did it, Rodney King deserved a beating for driving drunk in a Honda, and Rosa Parks did nothing but sit her black ass down.”

In the actual movie scene, after stating these remarks, Eddie was criticized by the other characters in the barbershop and told “not to let Jesse Jackson hear you [Eddie] talking like that.”

According to the National Review, Jackson condemned “Barbershop” and “the insensitivity of using Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as the butt of jokes and trying to turn tragedy into comedy. [I] hope the actors and producers would care enough about these grievances to apologize.”

In response to Jackson’s criticisms, the producers, Bob Teitel and George Tillman told the Associated Press that they had apologized to Jackson on behalf of everyone involved with the film.
“I completely did not mean to offend anyone,” said Tillman.

“People are just making too much of it,” Ice Cube told USA Today. “It’s just a funny movie about a barbershop and no one is exempt (from comment) at the barbershop. Just because we talk about it doesn’t mean we don’t love these people too.”

According to the Associated Press, Jackson is also pushing for scenes in the movies regarding the “three black truths” to be deleted, but this has yet to be negotiated.

Currently the movie has made $71million and has been playing in theaters since Sept. 13.