The new film "Won't Back Down" has premiered at a sensitive time for teachers' unions across the nation. Viola Davis, one of the movie's stars, has said that she is not bothered by the protests that have accompanied the premieres in certain cities and instead hopes the film will bring about "discourse, [which] is a good thing."
"I welcome protests. I welcome discourse; I think discourse is a good thing," Davis told NBC's Today show. "I think it spearheads change… And you know what, in this movie, the teacher at the end of the day is the hero. They save the day, and it's a system that's broken, that needs to be fixed."
Of course, the timing could not be more fortuitous, with Chicago teachers finally heading back to their classrooms after a battle with Mayor Rahm Emanuel over wages, benefits, and contract length. Both sides were finally able to negotiate a settlement that would allow the school year to begin, but new reporting by ABC states that other Chicago-area districts may lead their own strikes.
According to the Chicago Tribune, this year's strike was the first in 25 years, which came as a huge disappointment to teachers, parents, and students throughout the city. The motto of the picketers was "Rahm says cut back; we say fight back," the Tribune reported.
Rahm has since been touting his victory in ending the strike and getting the school system up and running. In a new series of commercials, Rahm has made the argument that the strike "was a message to the city. Our kids are no longer gonna be dead-last when it comes to time in school. We're gonna continue to give parents choice. Now, principals have the ability to design their time," the ads state.
While that strike may be over, it will surely not be forgotten, and with teachers' unions across the nation on edge, Davis' appearance in "Won't Back Down" may provide a bit of inspiration… though it seemingly has angered many who feel the movie unfairly portrayed the unions.
"Won't Back Down" premiered on September 28 and is in theaters now.
Watch a trailer for the film HERE: