Blue Story director Rapman questions ‘hidden reasons’ for film ban
The director of a film at the centre of a storm over violence in cinemas has said he feels “bullied” and “cheated” after it was banned by the Vue chain.
Rapman said Blue Story had nothing to do with a mass brawl involving machetes at a Vue in Birmingham, which left seven police officers injured.
Vue pulled the British film, saying it had sparked 25 incidents nationwide.
But Rapman said there “was no link to Blue Story” and asked whether there were “hidden reasons” behind the ban.
Five teenagers were arrested after the fight in Birmingham’s Star City complex on Saturday.
The writer and director told BBC arts editor Will Gompertz: “They were just in a cinema apparently for Frozen , but then they pinned it on Blue Story.”
Vue said there had been a total of 25 “significant incidents” at its sites around the country, all involving people either watching, buying tickets for, going in to watch or leaving screenings of Blue Story.
Rapman, real name Andrew Onwubolu, said there was “no connection” between the Birmingham brawl and his movie.
“And then you start thinking, is there hidden reasons there? What’s the owner like? Has he got an issue with young urban youth? Is he prejudiced? Does he believe that this film brings a certain type? Is there a colour thing?
“You start thinking of all these things, and it was an upsetting time.”
A spokesperson for Vue said the decision to pull Blue Story from its 91 cinemas nationwide was “categorically not” related to race.
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The rapper-turned-film-maker, who rose to prominence in 2017 with his hit YouTube series Shiro’s Story, said taking a machete to a cinema was “barbaric”, but asked Vue to give details of the other incidents.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he said: “They say that there’s been a number of incidents, but where’s the proof? Where’s the evidence? Where?