Complaints about `Spider-Man’ Passover shoot reach Hollywood

March 18, 2013 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The unit manager for the film “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and a local City Councilman are all hearing the complaints of Hasidic Jews in South Williamsburg about Columbia Pictures’ filming of the movie during Passover.

Columbia, the producers of the Spider-Man film, was still planning at press time to close off parking between March 22nd and March 27th around the Marcy Avenue Armory; although they had not received the necessary permits as of yet.

In addition to the noise and activity caused by the film crews, says Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Heights/Williamsburg), the main problem is that, as in most cases, residents would be asked to move their cars to make way for crew vehicles.

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However, because of restrictions on work during many (although not all) of the eight days of Passover, the deeply religious Hasidic residents of the area will not be able to move their cars, since they consider this to be work.

Levin’s office has contacted both the Mayor’s Office and Columbia Pictures (now a division of Sony) about the issue.

Levin said, “Spider-Man is spinning a web of problems for the community. With great power there must also come great responsibility — Columbia Pictures should live by the motto that led Spider-Man to use his abilities to fight crime and respect the observance of Passover by moving up their shooting.

“Filming of the `The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ would be a plague on the streets of South Williamsburg during the sacred holiday, creating a parking struggle of Biblical proportions,” Levin said, jokingly alluding to the Passover story of the Exodus from Egypt.

Yesterday, Julie Kuenhdorf, unit publicist for the film, responded to an email from the Eagle, saying, “The production is continuing to work with the community and with the Mayor’s Office of Film to minimize any impact on the community, and we’re doing our best to be good neighbors.”

Similarly, Marybeth Ihle, press secretary for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, emailed the Eagle on Friday: “No permits have been issued to the area around the Marcy Armory for the week of Passover. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has been and continues to be in close communication with the community and the production to determine the best course of action.

“Every consideration is taken by our office to accommodate residents observing religious holidays.”

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