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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Film Stopped, Black Women Racially Profiled at Movie Theater During “Harriet” Screening

Movie theater

New Orleans, LA — A group of women who are members of an African-American women’s empowerment group called 504 Queens are disappointed after reportedly being racially profiled while watching Harriet at an AMC movie theater in New Orleans. They say that theater employees accused them of using fake tickets, and they believed it happened because they were Black.

Sandra Gordon, who is 65-years old, was with about 13 of her group members on November 3 to watch the blockbuster movie about the legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Later, Gordon says at least three employees came in, forced her to show her ticket and accused that she was in the wrong seat. When she showed them the ticket on her phone which matched the assigned seats, the employee left.

Suddenly, the film was stopped and the lights went on. Another employee reportedly confronted Gordon and said they were cursing and being aggressive to the other employee who checked her ticket.

One witness, 32-year old Brandon Mayo told NOLA, “I was shocked. She was all in that woman’s (Gordon’s) face. And the woman was an elderly woman. Some people yelled, ‘Take her out of here.’ As if she had done something to make them cut the movie off. I’m sure it was embarrassing.”

Gordon said, “I saw how people were looking at us. It was humiliating. Especially with the movie being shown. We were watching people being whipped, being shot in the head, their children being sold away from them. And then you shut down this movie, this emotional movie, and come to me about a ticket dispute? It felt like the 1800s again in 2019.”

Even when the movie started again and another manager confirmed that their ticket was valid, the women chose to leave and were given refunds instead. They said they felt they were racially profiled.

“I just wonder: If I was a white lady, would all of this have occurred?” Gordon said.

Meanwhile, Ryan Noonan, the spokesman for AMC Theatres, said in a statement, “Based on our initial investigation, operational mistakes by the theater team led to this unacceptable and unnecessary disruption, and we are working with the theater to address what occurred. We sincerely apologize to our guests in the theater for this disruption and for the frustration they experienced as a result of it.”