LOS ANGELES – Paramount Pictures (search) is removing some billboards promoting the upcoming 50 Cent (search) film "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" after community activists complained they promoted gun violence. The billboards depict the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, holding a gun in his left hand and a microphone in his right. At least two were near schools.
A studio spokesman said Friday that Paramount was evaluating the locations of the billboards and taking some down. He declined further comment.
One of the signs was located in front of a charter school in Altadena and another sign was near a school in south Los Angeles (search), areas that have struggled with gang violence.
Activists in a south Los Angeles neighborhood staged a rally Tuesday to protest the signs. Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich sent a letter Wednesday to Paramount President Brad Grey calling for immediate removal of the billboards.
"The billboard conveys to students a disturbing message actively promoting gun violence, criminal behavior and gang affiliation," Antonovich wrote.
"Get Rich or Die Tryin' (search)" stars Jackson as a drug dealer who turns away from crime to pursue his true passion — music. It is scheduled to open Nov. 9.