US cinema chain AMC has fired three employees after a group of attendees claimed they were racially profiled during a screening of Harriet.
African American women’s group the 504 Queens alleged the incident occurred when 15 of their members were attending a screening of the movie at AMC Clearview Palace 12 in Metairie, Louisiana on November 7.
In a letter from the organisation’s lawyer, it is claimed that the screening was interrupted numerous times by three employees who asked about their tickets and seating assignments (via WDSU).
It further claims that the lights were turned on during the showing and that an audience member asked one of the group members to leave, and members of the group later approached AMC’s management, who offered free movie tickets for a future visit in response.
However, the charity rejected the proposal, demanding that the three employees be fired and that the company give mandatory customer service and anti-racism training to the staff, as well as issue a written apology.
They also asked for free Harriet tickets to be given to surrounding high school students in order to educate them about abolitionist Harriet Tubman, give 200 free tickets to the charity so they can take young girls to the movies, and that AMC donate proceeds from Clearview’s Black Friday sale to 504 Queens to purchase holiday meals for those in need.
AMC’s senior vice president has since apologised to the group and has agreed to the requests.
Harriet stars Cynthia Erivo as the abolitionist, though controversy arose last week after the film’s writer revealed that a studio boss suggested back in 1994 that Julia Roberts play Tubman.