It can be said that the Fast and Furious film series (AKA the “Fast Saga”) has been hugely influential on modern car culture. To this day, people are still building movie-accurate replicas of the now-iconic orange Toyota Supra or Mazda RX-7 from the first The fast and the furious film. The films elevated the late Paul Walker’s status as a celebrity as much as a part of automotive culture. So much so that auctions of cars he previously owned are attracting attention. But a group of Angelino Heights neighborhood residents think the movies may be a little too influential, and for the wrong reasons.
According to a report by Variety and reported by Road & Trackthe residents of this neighborhood are furious (no pun intended) about Universal Studios’ plans to shoot segments of the tenth Fast and Furious film in the area. Famous landmarks from the first film such as Bob’s Market and the “Dominic Toretto” house are located in this neighborhood, which attracts fans from all over to visit. Sounds good, right? Well, apparently some fans are doing more than taking a few selfies of iconic filming locations.
Locals say that for years street racers and overzealous fans have deliberately traveled to landmarks to street race, do burnouts and engage in full takeovers of the street. As you can imagine, this activity is quite boring for locals, in addition to being dangerous.
A group called “Streets Are For Everyone” made a statement on Instagram promising to protest on the spot while Universal films scenes in the area. The group says Universal Studios must “take responsibility for its glorification of illegal street racing, street takeovers, and sideshows that wreak havoc and kill people in our city.”
The group publishes a statistic released by the LAPD which indicates that street racing has increased 21% over the past year. Additionally, several law enforcement agencies in Southern California, including the LAPD, just orchestrated a massive crackdown on street takeovers in which more than 30 cars were seized and more of 40 arrests were made.
However, there are no statistics directly linking the films to increased street racing activity or reckless driving habits. The Variety The article says that Universal Studios pays “nuisance fees” to local residents every time they tour the area, but for the band “The Streets Are For Everyone” that isn’t enough.
“It’s time for the City of Los Angeles to prioritize the long-term health and safety of the community over the short-term benefits of a business,” the group said in their Instagram post. We agree that things like street racing and street takeovers are dangerous and beautifully stupid, we can also see that blaming the movies is a polarizing stance to take.
Universal Studios is unlikely to cancel or postpone filming due to the protest, let alone acknowledge any connection between the films and illegal motorist behavior, but if there are any major developments, we’ll update. ‘story.