A United Kingdom cinema chain is defending its decision to pull gang-warfare film "Blue Story" from theaters, hitting back at accusations of bias and saying it documented more than 25 "significant incidents" at theaters within the first day of the film's opening. It said the 25 incidents reported within 24 hours of the film's release on Friday night was the biggest number it had seen for any movie in such a short time frame.
It comes after violence erupted in Birmingham's Star Cinema on Saturday, which left seven police officers hurt.
As of yet the West Midlands police have not established what incited the violence at the theater or whether or not it actually began in a screening of Blue Story.
Families had to be taken out to dozens of young people started to fight. Either way, one thing seems to be for certain: it was not during a screening of Blue Story.
It is rated 15 for very strong language, strong violence, threat, sex, and drug misuse.
The 13-year-old, along with another girl and a boy, both aged 14, as well as a 19-year-old man, were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police.
Vue Cinemas is the third-largest theater chain in the region and cited the safety and welfare of its customers and staff as the reason to remove the film. Footage from inside the multiplex appeared to show fights and people on the floor screaming. Another 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police.
Another of the boys was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after an image circulated on social media showing a number of youths, with one carrying a machete. The violence prompted the 89-venue cinema chain and its competitor Showcase to pull the gangland crime drama Blue Story from all their multiplexes. "We are saddened to have had to take this step, which is not made lightly, particularly as the film itself seeks to strike a strong message against violence".
"We worked quickly to move the crowds on, but were met with a very hostile response and officers had to draw Tasers to restore order".
Blue Story's writer and director, Andrew Onwubolu known as Rapman, said Saturday's disturbance in Birmingham was "truly unfortunate". "We've made no recommendations to Vue at all", says Chief Superintendent Steve Graham of the West Midlands Police.
Officers were left with facial injuries, and a knife was recovered from a nearby roundabout.