Kindergarten Cop is the latest victim of cancel culture after it was pulled from a Portland film event but why was the 1990 comedy cancelled?
A lot has changed in the world since 2020 began.
Not only has the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic changed the way we live, but the fallout from the death of George Floyd in May has also seen a huge shift in the attitude towards the portrayal of race and of the police in forms of entertainment.
As a result, films such as Gone with the Wind and TV series like Live P.D. and Cops have either faced edits or cancellation.
The latest high-profile cancellation, as it were, comes as a film screening event in Portland has pulled the Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy, Kindergarten Cop, from its schedule.
But just why has Kindergarten Cop been cancelled?
Kindergarten Cop pulled from Portland film festival
On August 6th, 2020, a two-month drive-in film event, Cinema Unbound, was set to open in Portland, Oregon in the US with a special screening of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic, Kindergarten Cop, which was filmed in the state of Oregon.
However, on August 3rd, it was announced by the NW Center, the organisers of the event, that Kindergarten Cop would be replaced in the schedule following complaints about the screening of the 1990 comedy.
Instead, Kindergarten Cop would be replaced by a second showing of John Lewis: Good Trouble, released following the death of the civil rights leader on July 17th, as the original screening on August 7th has sold out.
Why was Kindergarten Cop cancelled?
The cancellation of Kindergarten Cop comes after complaints were made on social media, most notably from the award-winning author and historian, Lois Leveen.
Leveen tweeted: “What’s so funny about School-to-Prison pipeline? Kindergarten Cop-Out: Tell @nwfilmcenter there’s nothing fun in cops traumatizing kids. National reckoning on overpolicing is a weird time to revive Kindergarten Cop. IRL, we are trying to end school-to-prison pipeline.”
In an email sent to Portland publication, Williamette Week, Leveen elaborated by saying: “It’s true 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,’” she wrote. “They are relics of how pop culture feeds racist assumptions.”
The biggest complaint around the film seems to stem from the scene below where Scharwzenegger’s character, undercover cop John Kimble, disciplines the children in his class through police-style methods.
Social media reacts to cancellation
It’s safe to say that social media has reacted as you would expect to the news of Kindergarten Cop’s replacement with many taking to social media to argue against its cancellation.
One Twitter user wrote: “I try to stay away from politics, especially on social media…and I’m not a huge fan of cancel culture, but it is what it is and I just bite my tongue when I may disagree….but not this time….I see Kindergarten Cop is trending b/c it’s being canceled??? RIGODDAMNDICULOUS”
While another, who was surprised Kindergarten Cop was even being screened, added: “Alright folks this is getting stupid. Though why was Kindergarten Cop playing in a movie theater?”
And finally, this Twitter user summed up their feelings in gif form:
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