Last week, a teaser proposing a sequel to the 2006 movie ATL caught social media by surprise, but many were confused to see rapper T.I. included. Clifford "T.I." Harris was among the stars in the coming-of-age dramedy ATL a decade and a half ago, long before the allegations of systemic sexual abuse surfaced against him. Now, fans think that he should be separated from any potential revivals of his on-screen work.
ATL was directed by Chris Robinson, who posted a teaser for ATL 2: The Homecoming on Instagram and Twitter last week. The video included some new footage, but it didn't seem like an announcement of a completed project. Instead, it seemed to be a proposal to fans and studios seeking funding for a project that everyone involved was interested in pursuing. Robinson included the hashtag "Manifest" in the post, indicating that he was "manifesting" this project into reality. Fans were split over whether they wanted the belated sequel — especially with T.I. involved.
"Y'all can keep this!" read one of the top remarks on Twitter. Another fan added: "We ain't forget that allegation, Clifford," and a third wrote: "I can't speak for everybody when I say this, but nobody cares."
ATL is loosely based on the experience of Dallas Austin and Tionne "T-Box" Watkins of the R&B group TLC growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. It centers around aspiring hip-hop artists in their final year of high school looking at the daunting road ahead of them. The cast also included Lauren London, Evan Ross, Jackie Long, Big Boi, Mikelti Williamson, Keith David, Jason Weaver, Albert Daniels and Tasha Smith.
The movie generally received positive reviews in its time, with a particular emphasis on the soundtrack and some individual performances. It is generally considered a cult classic among hip-hop music fans. Of course, its association with T.I. makes it a much more dubious prospect these days.
T.I. has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 30 women at the time of this writing and at least one man. According to a report by NBC News, many victims have claimed that T.I. and his wife of "forced drugging, kidnapping, rape and intimidation" going back as far as 2005. Both have denied these allegations, and it is still unclear if any of the allegations will go to court. Many of the alleged victims have remained anonymous, saying they fear retribution for speaking out.
While it is not clear where the allegations will go legally speaking, T.I. has lost much public trust among fans. There's no telling how viewers would react to an ATL sequel starring T.I. these days.