Residents protest filming of `Fast & Furious’ in Angelino Heights
Angelino Heights residents held a protest Friday against the filming of the new “Fast & Furious” movie in their neighborhood, claiming the well-known franchise’s films have led to an increase in street racing in the area.
Filming of “Fast X,” the 10th installment of the franchise, was set to take place Friday and Saturday in the area — and residents taking part in the protest said they fear the movie will further glorify and encourage illegal street racing in their neighborhood.
“It’s super, super, super dangerous,” one resident told the crowd gathered for the late-morning protest. “I mean, come on guys, it doesn’t take a smart person to figure out that if you lose control, you’re going to hit somebody or something.”
She held up a photo of a crashed vehicle and said, “Are we going to wait for this to happen to one of our neighbors, our children before somebody cries out for action to take place, or are we going to do it before it happens?”
Some residents marched through the area, shouting “Street racing kills” while holding up photos of people killed by street racing.
The Angelino Heights area has been featured in several of the “Fast” franchise installments, attracting fans to the area. Some engage in street takeovers and perform donuts or burnouts, as evidenced by the circular tire marks in some intersections.
Los Angeles has seen a 30% increase in fatalities and a 21% increase in serious injuries due to traffic violence over the last year, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Residents reached out to the road safety organizations Streets Are For Everyone and Street Racing Kills, who set up Friday’s protests. One protest was held late Friday morning, with another set to begin at 5 p.m.
Damian Kevitt, executive director of Streets Are For Everyone, said that while residents are compensated for the short-term inconvenience of the filming, there are long-term impacts.
“How do you compensate for years of misery and being woken up night after night by screeching tires and burning rubber?” Kevitt told City News Service.
“And the effect it has on the physical and mental health of those residents? You can’t compensate for that.”
The two organizations are asking the city to re-engineer the roads of Angelino Heights by installing barriers such as speed humps and meridians that prevent drivers from racing.
They are also seeking a zero-tolerance policy on street racing from city and state officials, and for NBCUniversal to abide by its own social impact statement by, among other things, including a disclaimer in the movies discouraging street racing and working with legislators to pass laws deterring such illegal activity.
“I’m not saying we should get into a whole cancel culture on `Fast and Furious,”‘ Kevitt said. “But what I am saying is that there needs to be some corporate responsibility by NBCUniversal and there needs to be responsibility by the city for addressing the illegal aspect of it.”
Kevitt said he has received responses from representatives in both the LAPD and the mayor’s office regarding the complaints.
A representative for Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents Angelino Heights, did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday. Neither did a representative from NBCUniversal.