Film legend Al Pacino
doesn't need the muscle of the Corleone family or the firepower of Tony "Scarface" Montana to defend himself: His fans are ready to step right up.
Two co-owners of a Web
site dedicated to all things Pacino have lashed out against a Flint city councilwoman for daring to take on the actor and the impact
that his violent 1983 gangster movie, "Scarface," has had on area young people.
owners of the New York-based Web site www.pacinoworldwide.com said that 2nd Ward Councilwoman Jackie Poplar was wrong to equate
Pacino with his "Scarface" gangster persona.
Poplar's response: The
Pacino-loving pair need to "get a life."
The Oscar-winning actor's
fans reacted quickly to a front-page Flint Journal article Saturday in which Poplar decried the popularity of "Scarface" memorabilia
and said young people were using Pacino as a role model in his guise as the movie's Cuban drug kingpin.
"I would not go as far
to say that I know Al Pacino, but know this and please pass this on to Ms. Councilwoman " The same 'Al Pacino' you claim is
this bad bad role model " He does numerous college and high school drama visits and speaks to the same youth our council woman
is worried about," Jackie Krudop, co-owner and president of Pacino Worldwide, said in an e-mail to The Journal on Saturday.
She described Pacino
as a "national treasure."
Poplar said she wasn't
personally blaming Pacino, calling him one of her favorite actors, and she encouraged the pair to call her directly about
"Oh, for God's sake,"
was her initial reaction. "Where are they based?"
Poplar said most people
have been supportive of her stand, which includes pushing for area merchants to restrict the sale of "Scarface" items to young
But the Pacino fans
take her comments as a personal slap at the actor.
Their Web site contains
tributes to Pacino, tons of admiring quotes, his film history and plans. The owners said the nonprofit site has operated for
nearly three years "with the idea of maintaining the integrity of an artist at a level deserving of the man it honors."
The Journal was unable
to get comment from Pacino's Beverly Hills, Calif.-based publicist.
Krudop said she agreed
with Poplar's mission to look further into the lives of troubled youths and that something should be done about whom they
see as heroes.
But she said she felt
compelled to respond to Poplar's comments, saying she doesn't want Pacino fans to get the wrong idea about the actor.
Iris Frank, who co-owns
and is vice president of the fan site, said it was disturbing that Poplar couldn't tell the difference between fantasy and
reality by singling out Pacino rather than the Montana character.
"Never should the responsibility
lie on the artist or creator of the work of art," Frank said in an e-mail. "To place it there is to traverse the first step
on the rocky and raucous road to the censorship, theocracy, and yes, ultimately, the terrorism that prevails in all those
societies we claim to abhor."
Poplar first raised
the "Scarface" issue this month as city leaders struggle on how to battle one of the highest violent crime rates in the country.
"I'm just concerned
with the children watching the movie, and they think that this is what life is about," Poplar said. "If you want to do something,
Article Written By Christofer Machniak for The Flint Journal First Edition, Wednesday, January