Illustration for article titled Louisiana Movie Theater Fires 3 Employees for Racially Profiling Black Women During iHarriet/i Screening
Photo: Focus Features

Something is still rotten in the cotton.

Black folk in the South can’t even find peace in a movie theater while watching a film about a legendary freedom fighter.


AMC Theatres has fired three employees at one of its Louisiana locations for a racial profiling incident that occurred during a Harriet screening.

According to Variety, a letter sent from a lawyer for 504 Queens, an African American women’s group, claims the showing was interrupted at multiple points by three employees, including one kitchen staff member, asking the women to confirm their ticket purchases and seating assignments.

“You mean to tell me a kitchen employee can stop a movie, and also, turn on all the lights to embarrass me? And to be aggressive with me in that manner? It was like the 1800s coming back to my face in 2019,” one member told the station.

The nonprofit charity alleges that 15 of its members were racially profiled at AMC’s Clearview Palace 12 in Metairie, La., on Nov. 7.


The letter, obtained by NBC affiliate WDSU stated how staff members turned the lights on inside the theater, prompting other moviegoers to ask for one of the 504 Queens to leave the premises.

After approaching AMC management staff, the organization’s members were offered free movie tickets for a future visit.


The group rejected the proposal and instead requested the movie theater chain settle the occurrence by firing the employees involved, providing mandatory customer service and anti-racism training to its staff, and issuing a written apology to the charity.

The group also requested that AMC dole out free Harriet tickets to high school students in the area to educate them about Harriet Tubman, as well as passes for 200 members of 504 Queens to take young girls to the movies.


Additionally, the letter requested the movie distribution giant to donate the proceeds from the Clearview Theatre’s Black Friday sale to 504 Queens so the organization can purchase holiday meals for people in need.

AMC Theatres reportedly apologized to the group on behalf of the company and agreed to its requests.


An injustice to anyone is a threat to justice to everyone. Even in movie theaters.

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