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Did Fast & Furious: Supercharged at Universal Studios Change A Potentially Racially Charged Moment?

Theme Park University reader Rebecca writes in to ask: “I noticed something a bit off when I rode Fast & Furious: Supercharged at Universal the other day. During the peppers ghost scene where the party gets broken up, it seems there is something wrong with the audio. The mouth movements don’t match up with what they are saying. What am I missing here?”

Great question, Rebecca and one that I’ve been researching for a few weeks now.  To give you some background, Universal Studios Hollywood opened their Fast & Furious attraction with an identical “party scene” right before the same finale that plays in both Orlando and Hollywood.  So you’d think if there was an issue with the dialogue mixing, it would have been taken care of a long time ago, right?

It’s not that simple. You see, when Universal Studios Hollywood opened their Fast & Furious: Supercharged attraction, the dialogue in the party scene went like this. (Video from SoCal Attractions 360)

FBI Agent: Party’s over! Everybody out! Now! This is the FBI. Turn that music off. 

Roman: This is what we doin’. This is the race day after party… and the… where did all the girls go?

FBI Agent: Roman Pierce? FBI. On the ground (points to the ground)

Roman: Really?

FBI Agent: On the ground, do it now.

Roman: Do you know how long it took for me to iron this shirt, man?

FBI Agent: On the ground, now. Right now!

Roman: Ladies… just back up a little bit. First of all, I don’t work for you…

FBI Agent: Oh really? Well, tell me, Roman, who do you work for?

Got it?  Now about a week before Fast & Furious: Supercharged opened in Orlando, the version that is in the Hollywood Universal Tram Tour made some changes to that party scene. Subsequently, when Orlando started soft opening of their attraction, that same dialogue sequence was also changed. Here’s the new dialogue as heard in both Hollywood and Orlando. I’ve italicized the changes for you in the new script below. (Video via World Key Magic on YouTube)

Roman: This is what we doin’. This is the race day after party… and the… where did all the girls go?

FBI Agent: Roman Pierce? FBI. Don’t Move. (Points to the ground)

Roman: Really?

FBI Agent: Yea, that’s right. Party’s over.

Roman: Do you know how long it took for me to iron this shirt, man?

FBI Agent: You’re under arrest. Right now!

Roman: Ladies… just back up a little bit. First of all, I don’t work for you…

FBI Agent: Oh really? Well, tell me, Roman, who do you work for?

OK, see the difference? The FBI agent no longer tells Roman to get down on the ground. Even though he motions for him to do so with his body movements. More importantly? The mouth movements you’re seeing match the original dialogue, not the new dialogue as of April 2018.  It looks like an old Kung Fu movie if you’re really paying attention to the mouth movements.

Now the big question: why was this change necessary? From what I’ve heard coming from Universal Hollywood (where this change was first implemented), the story goes something like this. When Universal Orlando started running tests for executives of Fast & Furious Supercharged back in early 2018, someone noticed something that they found *could* be a potential issue in today’s politically charged climate. A white FBI Agent pulling a gun on a black guy and telling him to get on the ground without stating a cause to do so.

Keeping in mind two things. 1. If you’ve ever seen any of the Fast & Furious movies, this happens several times when white FBI agents ask black men to get on the ground. So it is true to the film. 2. The original dialogue existed for over two years in Universal Studios Hollywood and (to our knowledge) no one said anything about it. Even more bizarre? From my understanding, most of the same executives approved the original version and then ordered a re-recording when they saw it in Orlando.

A sign of the times? Perhaps. Did they not notice the first time around? Possibly, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. I doubt we will ever really truly know the answer. I hope that clears up why the dialogue doesn’t sync up with that particular party scene in Fast & Furious: Supercharged. For better or worse.

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