May 22, 2017

RoboCop fans raise enough money for Detroit statue

By Sean O’Connell Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz lately with the efforts of “RoboCop” fans lobbying to get a statue of the cinematic crimefighter constructed in Detroit. OK, maybe it was just my feed, because I’ve got too many movie geeks as friends and followers.

But their collective hemming and hawing worked, because the RoboCop statue is going up. Detroit artists and entrepreneurs reportedly raised more than $50,000 via Facebook and other online portals, allowing Detroit city officials to consider greenlighting the project and get RoboCop to the Motor City.

“It hit a sweet spot. It’s a fun and funny idea to build a statue of RoboCop,” said project leader Jeff Paffendorf. “There’s violence in ‘RoboCop,’ but through the film RoboCop tries to do the right thing.”

Now, Detroit’s mayor, Dave Bing, might not be entirely convinced. It was his off-the-cuff-remark denying plans to build a RoboCop statue that got this ball rolling, so to speak. And reps from Bing’s office have gone on the record. “We know there are a lot of people that care deeply about the issue, and we respect that,” said Karen Dumas of Bing’s office. “But I’m still not sure that RoboCop is the best message for the city of Detroit.”

But Paffendorf already is picking out sites for the statue, thinking it could go near the city’s downtown fist statue, constructed as a tribute to boxer Joe Louis.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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