Billboards for "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" removed in Philadelphia

ImageTwenty-one billboards plugging the movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" starring rapper 50 Cent are coming down in the wake of opposition from community groups.

The billboards show the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, holding a gun in one hand and a microphone in the other. "The message could be 'rob to get rich.'... It's a very offensive message that is part of a mind-set that says you can solve problems with violence," said Bilal Qayyum, a leader of the antiviolence group Men United for a Better Philadelphia.

He praised the billboard company, Clear Channel Outdoor, for agreeing to remove the signs following complaints from his group as well as Mothers in Charge, an antiviolence group mostly made up of mothers of homicide victims.

"They took a financial hit to take them down," Qayyum said. "They showed corporate responsibility."

George J. Kauker, president of the Philadelphia division of Clear Channel Outdoor, issued a brief written statement about the decision.

"Our local managers review each advertisement on a case-by-case basis to ensure that it meets the tastes and standards of appropriateness within the local community," Kauker wrote. "Based on clear and vocal negative response from local Philadelphia community groups, we agreed to remove this particular advertisement. This decision applies only to the local Philadelphia market."