Cynthia Erivo‘s “Harriet” has grossed over $15 million at the box office and its only been in theaters a week. However, that didn’t stop a group of Black women reportedly being racially profiled at a New Orleans, Louisiana movie theater.
NOLA.com reports, a group of Black women, who are members of 504 Queens, an African-American women’s empowerment group, were watching “Harriet” at a packed AMC Clearview Palace theater in Metairie, Louisiana on Nov. 3.
The site reports “the lights went on in a crowded theater” and the women were “questioned whether their tickets were real and then accused them of cursing and being aggressive enough to warrant shutting off the film.”
The women were forced to show their tickets to an employee and their tickets matched the assigned seats. For some reason, the employee didn’t believe them, turned the lights on to the theater and the women were confronted with profanity. One witness, Brandon Mayo, 32, who didn’t know the women, said, “I was shocked. She was all in that woman’s (Gordon’s) face. And the woman was an elderly woman.” He continued, “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.”
Sandra Gordon, 65, 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.”
The movie started again but then another manager returned, asking to see their tickets and confirmed the ticket was valid. The women decided to leave and were given refunds.
The AMC Theatres’ corporate office claimed it was a mistake “by the theater team led to this unacceptable and unnecessary disruption.”
Spokesman Ryan Noonan of AMC Theatres also released 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.”