A Los Angeles neighborhood featured in the Fast and Furious movies held protests against the filming of the franchise’s latest installment this weekend, claiming the community has been blighted by a spate of illegal and dangerous street racing.
Residents voiced anger at this weekend’s planned taping of Fast X in Angelino Heights, a historic area near downtown Los Angeles which is home to Vin Diesel’s fictional character Dominic Toretto in the wildly popular, long-running film series.
The movies depict the underground world of street racing, helping to popularize practices such as ‘street takeovers’ in which crowds gather — usually at night — to watch cars rev their engines and scream at high speeds around city streets.
Local residents and supporters of the group Street Racing Kills protested the increase in street racing takeovers and the latest Fast and Furious movie being filmed
Local activists and residents gathered to protest the filming of the new Fast and Furious X movie
Some fans of the franchise have evidently gone to the neighborhood and engaged in unsafe car maneuvers such as donuts or burnouts
A shot of the Fast X movie which is the 10th installment of the Fast And The Furious franchise
Protestors in the neighborhood gathered in the street Friday to express their objections to the film for glamorizing street racing
The protesters say the community has been blighted by a spate of illegal and dangerous street racing
Residents say it glamorizes street racing and illegal takeovers, fueling a dangerous trend anywhere the films have resonated with young drivers
Residents say the films’ distributor, Universal Pictures, and the city of LA have done little to deter the copycat drivers who race through their neighborhood
A photo from one of the Fast And The Furious films
Damian Kevitt, a local resident and founder of Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE), said the Hollywood film series ‘glorifies an illegal activity’ and as a result Angelino Heights had become ‘a tourist destination for illegal street racing.’
‘Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights, there’ll be three, four, five, six cars coming through here, doing burnouts, doing donuts,’ Kevitt said.
“There was no street racing in this community before ‘Fast and Furious’ was filmed here,” he added.
Bella, another resident who declined to give her last name, said her children were traumatized from being constantly awakened by the sound of cars outside her home at night, and were now too scared to play outside the house.
‘They’ve seen when the car spins out of control and practically hits the pedestrian that’s standing right on the corner,’ she said.
Neighbors would like streets to be redesigned in order to discourage street racing
Angelino Heights residents and others protest the filming of ‘Fast and Furious X’ with concerns that the series has increased street racing and danger in the neighborhood in Los Angeles
Have asked the film’s producers to make a public service announcement to discourage amateurs from speeding down residential streets. Picture, filming above
Lili Trujillo Puckett, founder of Street Racing Kills, speaks alongside local residents and supporters of the group Street Racing Kills during a protest on the increase in street racing
Street racing in LA predates the film franchise which first began in 2001 but many feel that the movies are contributing to the problem
Los Angeles has seen a 30 percent increase in fatalities and a 21 percent increase in serious injuries due to traffic violence over the last year, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Bella called for Universal Pictures to move future filming elsewhere, while SAFE has asked the city to install speed humps and implement a zero-tolerance policy on street racing.
The group has also asked Universal to add a disclaimer to the Fast and Furious movies discouraging street racing.
The studio has not responded to a request for comment.
The first installment, The Fast and the Furious, was released by Universal Pictures in 2001, and the franchise has become the eighth-highest grossing film series in history, taking over $6.6 billion worldwide across ten movies.
Fast X is due to be released next May.
The intersection of Kensington Road and Bellevue Avenue has drawn car enthusiasts and street racers, who engage in dangerous driving, creating noise and smoke
Community members hold signs while protesting by the film set for Fast & Furious 10
Residents say the film glamorizes street racing and illegal takeovers, fueling a dangerous trend
Community members hold signs while protesting by the film set
The neighbors want the streets to be redesigned to discourage street racing and the film’s producers to make a public service announcement to discourage amateurs from speeding down the residential streets