The Los Angeles City Council yesterday banned TV-movie L.A. Heat: Burning Sanctuary from filming at a South Central Los Angeles church. The reason: The production company wanted to include loud "simulated gunfire" in a scene, something council members called insensitive in a poor neighborhood that's been plagued by too much real gunfire. The entertainment community, however, is calling the legislation censorship--and now the council may be having second thoughts.

Councilwoman Rita Walters, who represents South Central, pushed the measure through the council. "I don't think it takes a whole lot to understand that shooting...is not appropriate for this location," she said.

But Cody Cluff, president of the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., a group that's supposed to smooth out conflicts between movie companies and neighborhoods in L.A., says Walters didn't wait for him to do his job. He claims the producers had agreed to dub the sound of gunfire in later. Yet the council still went ahead with its 12 to zero vote.

Members of the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Christ weren't happy about the decision, either. They stood to gain a daily location-use fee of $750, plus $1,000 for each church member employed as an extra. Now, it looks like they won't be getting the new piano they had hoped for.

Walters has told Cluff she plans to oppose simulated gunfire in all productions taking place in her district. But now, some council members admit they may have acted too hastily on Walters recommendation. They may take up the issue again today.

Plainly, some council members were annoyed at Hollywood for more than just the sound of gunfire. "It is not good for people to see in the movies, 'Here's what they do in Walter's neighborhood,'" said Councilman Nate Holden, from an adjacent district. "They shoot, shoot, shoot. They kill, kill, kill." In the scene to be shot yesterday, skinheads were to burn down a black-congregation church.

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