Magic Johnson Theaters Ban 'Belly'

DMX, Nas, Method Man, Stevie Nicks, Skatalites, Pearl Jam, Hole, Streetwalkin' Cheetahs...

The three theaters in former basketball great Magic Johnson's theater chain,

located in predominantly African-American neighborhoods in Los Angeles,

Houston and Atlanta, will not show "Belly," the first film from music-video director

Hype Williams, according to a company statement released Tuesday. The

Magic Johnson Theater Chain's statement said that the film, which features

chart-topping rappers DMX, Nas and Method Man,

was banned from the chain's theaters due to concerns about its

"overwhelmingly negative and violent depictions of African-Americans" and its

"potential to create disruptive situations for our theaters' patrons and

employees." Williams released a statement soon after the decision was made

public: "Censoring this film is akin to turning a blind eye to what's happening in

today's cities, and I find it incredibly cynical to stereotype the film's audience by

assuming they will act disruptively and even violently."