US cinema fires workers who racially profiled black women at ‘Harriet’ screening

The women were repeatedly interrupted while viewing the new film

STORY TO TELL: Cynthia Erivo takes the lead role in the film Harriet

US CINEMA chain AMC has fired three employees after a group of black women said they were racially profiled during a screening of Harriet.

The 504 Queens – an African American women’s empowerment group – claimed the incident took place at a screening of the movie at AMC Clearview Palace in Metairie, Louisiana in November 7.

In a letter obtained by WDSU, the group’s lawyer sent a letter claiming that the women were interrupted numerous times by three employees who asked about their tickets and seating assignments.

It further claims that the lights were turned on during the screening and that an audience member asked one of the group members to leave. Members of the group later approached AMC’s management, who offered free movie tickets for a future visit.

Sandra Gordon, a member of 504 Queens, told Nola.com that the experience was “humiliating.”

“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 organisation rejected the proposal and demanded that the three employees be fired as well as receiving a written apology.

AMC’s senior vice president, Kevin Connor has apologised to the group and adhered to their request, which also included that the company give mandatory customer service and anti-racism training to the staff, give free Harriet tickets to surrounding high schools and 200 free tickets to the organisation so that they can take young girls to the movies.

“We apologise for the several missteps and misunderstandings on behalf of our management and film crew that evening, to the serious and justified disappointment of the women you represent,” he said.

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