Jews in Williamsburg, Brooklyn are blasting the producers of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” movie for plans to film in the area during the Passover holiday.
If the filming proceeds as scheduled, the production will be significantly disrupt the holiday, as it will block streets, take over parking spots, and create an overall atmosphere that is deemed by Orthodox Jews living in the area to be highly unsuitable for the highly-anticipated holiday, which begins at sundown on March 25.
According to The New York Post, Columbia Pictures wants to close the streets surrounding an armory in the neighborhood from March 22 to 27, just when neighbors say they need the coveted extra street space for holiday guests.
Esther Goldman, 45, who lives across the street from the armory expressed her frustration and dismay over the plans.
“They are truly disrupting our tranquility and peace during the holidays; it’s very insensitive to our needs,” she told The Post.
Rabbis and other religious and community leaders say they want the plan changed out of respect for the holiday.
Brooklyn Councilman Stephen 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, according to the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper.
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.”
Press secretary for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Marybeth Ihle, wrote an e-mail to the local paper Friday saying, “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,” Ihle added.