Kindergarten Cop is a film that is beloved by many. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as an undercover cop posing as a teacher to lure a fugitive out into the open, the comedy was a smash hit when released in 1990 and has been played and quoted endlessly since. It is one of those catalog titles that you will see on cable and in bargain bins all of the time. The film was shot in Oregon and was set to be played at The Northwest Film Center "for its importance in Oregon filmmaking history" as part of its summer drive-in series at Zidell Yards. That, however, is no longer happening, as Kindergarten Cop has been pulled from the screening series over concerns it "romanticizes over-policing," according to The Washington Times.
Kindergarten Cop Replaced By John Lewis Doc
Portland author Lois Leveen first raised the concern, writing about the film on her Twitter page. "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," Ms. Leveen wrote. Criminalizing of children increases dramatically when cops work in schools," she argued. "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." The Northwest Film Center heard her concerns and has instead decided to add a second screening of John Lewis: Good Trouble, about the late congressman.
Once again, the debate on how to handle the art of years gone by rears it's ugly head. While one is prone to jump all over this and say like Lois Leveen did in her tweets that it is "just a movie", really it is more than that, and it is important to consider all lines of thoughts when it comes to these matters. Good on them for listening and finding a solution quickly.