Black Lives Matter: Arizona will stage a protest at an AMC theater in Phoenix after 40 year old Larry Shelton was removed from a showing of Captain Marvel after being falsely accused of sneaking into the movie.
Shelton, a mortgage banker from Ahwatukee, Arizona got up to use the restroom and refill his beverage when a manager ran up to him and yelled at him for using the wrong entrance.
"I'm walking back to my seat with my cup when a manager runs up and said I entered the building through an exit door," Shelton told Yahoo Lifestyle.
"He was very nasty with me and told me to leave."
When he continued watching the film, he was then approached by security who told him he had to leave.
Shelton reportedly asked why and was not given an answer.
He was forced into the lobby by police and the manager, who said they were positive he'd snuck in.
Shelton caught the entire exchange on video.
"Sir, you walked in an exit door and my staff warned me they did not sell you a ticket…I am sure. Nobody scanned your ticket," said the manager.
When Shelton produced the ticket, the manager continued to make excuses.
"Oh yes, this is a ticket that does look like it was purchased…but you should have shown me the ticket…you walked in [from] the exit door."
No matter how many times Shelton repeated himself that he was going to the bathroom and to refill his drink, the manager insisted he hadn't.
The video says it all... @AMCTheatres has work to do to guarantee patrons of color are not racially profiled and… https://t.co/m6Ifz9HzQw— Rev. Jarrett Barton Maupin, Jr. (@Rev. Jarrett Barton Maupin, Jr.)1552278778.0
Have been an @AMCTheatres stubs member for a years. CanNOT believe what occurred in Phx and how #LarryShelton was t… https://t.co/8dxf5uBOVL— Talei Hornback (@Talei Hornback)1552506580.0
You guys should def be conducting an investigation in Arizona. The customer Larry Shelton didn’t deserve to be trea… https://t.co/hrMNhesYpl— Jτ (@Jτ)1552537478.0
@AMCTheatres GIVE LARRY SHELTON FREE MOVIES FOR LIFE AND FIRE THAT SORRY EXCUSE OF A MANAGER AND SECURITY. YOU LETT… https://t.co/3SMIhW4G83— Curry (@Curry)1552521550.0
“I’m at the movies,” Larry Shelton, of Phoenix, said. “I paid to get in here and one of the people out of the blue… https://t.co/4wIMolhBaQ— Joshua Rhett Miller (@Joshua Rhett Miller)1552588407.0
What the hell were your employees thinking about racially profiling Larry Shelton a black man in one of your theate… https://t.co/eAjDawlFXk— ThokozileX (@ThokozileX)1552655591.0
@AMCTheatres Larry Shelton, the black customer whom you threw out just for being black.— J Heath (@J Heath)1552552444.0
(1/2) #LarryShelton went to watch a movie (PAID TO WATCH A MOVIE) at an #AMC theater but was racially profiled & ac… https://t.co/Y4cggEpaOL— Move Forward (@Move Forward)1552512230.0
"Do you know how embarrassing this is?" Shelton said.
He then left the theater.
When he turned around and said "And I want a refund," the manager responded with:
"You're not getting a refund. You violated our code of conduct by turning a flashlight on in the theater."
Why didn’t the police make sure that they were right before actually trying to remove #LarryShelton I don’t like that officers tone either.— Don Pancho Villa (@Don Pancho Villa)1552535517.0
@AMCTheatres I guess going to the movies as a black man is a crime now? #LarryShelton was kicked out because the se… https://t.co/3EdFnlznPR— Dee🤴🏿 (@Dee🤴🏿)1552565302.0
#RT @AMCTheatres is the way a paying customer ( #LarryShelton ) was treated at your #Ahwatukee #Arizona theatre a t… https://t.co/b0timO6ZNX— THE DIEZEL (@THE DIEZEL)1552288582.0
Black Lives Matter: Arizona announced via Facebook its intention to protest the AMC location.
The event linked to the protest states:
"Clearly, AMC staff had no reason to remove this man. He paid to see a movie. He was respectful. Mr. Shelton is a victim of petty racial profiling and of White AMC staffers using and wasting police resources to bully and intimidate a patron of color."
"We demand that AMC Theaters Fire the manager, staff, and security members involved. There must be a zero-tolerance policy for racially profiling customers and for wasting police resources on prejudice hunches."
"We further demand that AMC Theaters release their federal EEO-1 data so we can review their current level of corporate diversity. This is not the first serious allegation of racism against this company and we want to know about their diversity training and hiring practices."
"Black people spend millions of dollars with this industry and we expect to be as respected and valued as any other customers are when visiting a movie theater."
AMC corporate responded.
"AMC deeply regrets that this avoidable situation occurred."
"Based on our initial investigation, including interviews with the theatre staff and our outreach to the guest, this situation could have been handled differently to minimize frustration, and we've offered our sincere apologies to Mr. Shelton."
"Regarding what transpired, a member of the theatre team, acting on information about unauthorized access to the theatre through an exit door, approached a guest in the area, who was reentering an auditorium mid-movie."
"When the guest declined to show his ticket stub, the manager called for security, and when the guest again declined to show his ticket stub or leave the auditorium, the theatre called the police. Once police arrived, the guest produced his ticket."
"We understand that Mr. Shelton feels he was treated with bias," said the spokesperson.
"Equality is of the utmost importance to AMC, which is why unconscious bias training is required for all AMC management associates, and we will be reinforcing that training at this theatre."
Emailing Shelton a voucher for a free movie, soda and popcorn.
😒caucasians...Really, @AMCTheatres??? After the insulting incident, Larry Shelton says AMC emailed him offering vou… https://t.co/etwgEiHhMR— ure_too_close (@ure_too_close)1552520459.0
@AMCTheatres is in hot water. The total disrespect / racial profiling and civil rights / public accommodations viol… https://t.co/3Q8YQO7zbZ— Rev. Jarrett Barton Maupin, Jr. (@Rev. Jarrett Barton Maupin, Jr.)1552271687.0