Schwarzenegger Movie Angers Group

02/04/2002 at 10:00 AM EST

A Roman Catholic priest in New York, the Rev. Brian Father Jordan of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, has been joined by a union group in denouncing the new movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Collateral Damage," and they are asking that the public boycott the action thriller, which opens Friday, reports The New York Times. The clergyman, who is ministering to recovery workers still excavating at the World Trade Center site, said that the movie exploits the Sept. 11 attacks and portrays Colombians in a bad light. In the film, Schwarzenegger, 54, stars as federal officer Ben Stride, who loses his wife and child in a bomb explosion and then becomes obsessed with capturing their Colombian drug-trafficker killer. (Originally scheduled for release last fall, the movie was temporarily shelved by its studio for several months. Subsequent test screenings have reportedly found that audiences, deeming the movie palatable, are ready to accept its premise and plot devices.) Father Jordan has been joined in his crusade by a group of Colombian immigrants, including the widow of a man killed on Sept. 11, says The Times. Jose Peralta, a spokesman for the New York City Central Labor Council, is pushing for the boycott of the film. Spokespeople for Warner Bros., which is releasing the movie (and which, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner), did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the situation.

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