Canoe (Ca), September 1, 2000

Protests arise over Keanu's new film

It seems everyone wants to play hardball with Keanu Reeves' upcoming film, "Hardball."

The movie, which tells the story of a ticket scalper sentenced to coach baseball in Chicago's tough housing projects, recently faced a lawsuit from the coach whose life reportedly serves as the basis for the story. Now, Chicago's politicians are jumping on the bandwagon, denouncing the film for its portrayal of the city's inner-city kids.

Variety says Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and schools head Paul Vallas told reporters the film's profanity-laced dialogue and negative portrayal of the kids is wrong.

"This is not 'The Bad News Bears' that we're filming here. This is an R-rated movie that seems to be reinforcing negative stereotypes about inner-city children," Vallas told Variety.

Bob Muzikowski, one of the coaches portrayed in the movie, told the Chicago Sun-Times his kids weren't allowed to swear.

"We are kind of heartbroken," Muzikowski told the paper.

"They have come into our town and taken a wonderful story and dirtied it up because they think they know how black kids act."

The Sun-Times headline on the story read: "Hey Keanu: Clean up your movie."

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