By Stephen M. Silverman
September 26, 2002 11:25 AM

A hit is a hit, and rapper Ice Cube’s movie, “Barbershop,” is definitely one of them. For the past two weeks, the ensemble comedy has been No. 1 at the box office, generating about $40 million in ticket sales.

But it has also rankled a few people, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who have criticized some of the movie’s dialogue insofar as it makes wisecracks at the expense of civil rights icons Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King. They now want the offending dialogue cut from “Barbershop.”

Although producers have apologized for the jokes, Variety reports that the film’s studio, MGM, is staunchly refusing to clip the lines from the movie or from its future DVD versions, despite the insistence of Jackson and Sharpton, who are calling for a national boycott of the movie as of this Friday if their demands are not met, The New York Times reports.

“MGM stands behind ‘Barbershop,’ its filmmakers, and artists, and we have no intention of altering the film in any way,” the studio said in a statement. “We’re proud to have made a movie with such a positive and uplifting overall message that audiences throughout the U.S. have embraced. The filmmakers obviously struck a winning chord with critics and audiences alike, and we are already at work on the sequel.”

The scenes being cited by Jackson and Sharpton, according to the Times, involve the character played by comedian Cedric the Entertainer, who riles the shop regulars by ridiculing Dr. King for his marital infidelities and dismissing Ms. Parks’s contribution to the civil rights movement as simply sitting down. Jackson himself is also targeted during the scene.