It seems to be somewhat of an epidemic: Companies issuing press releases to celebrate their defiance of federal civil rights laws. The latest is the Alamo Drafthouse, which announced Wonder Woman screenings for women only. Let’s celebrate womanhood! Or, Girl Power!
They advertised the event in the following language:
“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz… And when we say ‘People Who Identify As Women Only,’ we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.”
Sigh. Ladies (and gentlemen), you can’t do this. You may think it’s not a big deal, but it is a big deal. Just think if you changed the situation: “Apologies ladies, but we’re embracing our guy power and saying ‘No Girls Allowed.'” You’d freak.
To keep reading, click here: This Movie Theater Wants to Celebrate Women by Violating State and Federal Law.
15 thoughts on “This Movie Theater Wants to Celebrate Women by Violating State and Federal Law.”
I happen to live near this theater ( about 2 miles from home)and the idea behind this women only event was to have an atmosphere where like minded women with their daughters could enjoy the movie without dealing with negative comments by any males. I, personally want to see this movie and know most men in my life , consider this movie offensive even though she’s a figure from the same comics they read.
Back to this theater, which is a renovated movie theater, which offers a dining experience along with the movie, a great family experience, because food is served to the movie goers. Nobody misses the start of show waiting on line since food is brought to the seats which have grouping around tables. The goal of the Alamo is to provide a dinner and movie at same time, so cost is more than a regular movie theater to attend. I know you can reserve one of the theaters for special events so perhaps this special showing of Wonder Woman was pre-arranged by a group. The facilities has multiple theaters.
I feel this reaction of negativity for this special showing is just another response by the PC group here in New York, who have nothing better to do than whine when things don’t go as their narrow-minded view see. Real Life doesn’t revolve around them but they think it does.
The Alamo theater doesn’t deserve this negative reaction just because some narrow- minded people think it is politically incorrect.
Narrow-minded or not, the Alamo is actually breaking the law though.
Yeah, I actually couldn’t care less if one movie theater wants to have a girl power night, but the law does care.
Denying someone access to a “public” event because of their race, gender, age, etc isn’t a matter of “politically incorrect.”
It IS wrong. period.
I don’t think the original responder even read a word of your post. I would like her (presumably) to respond to the “its illegal” and “how would you feel if it were men only”. This situation is just one more example of the contemporary illiberal liberal phenomenon (walking out of graduating ceremony, violent protests to conservative speakers, …).
I think it is a huge stretch to try and bring BFOQ into this. They aren’t making hiring decisions based on a one or two night screening. It is an issue of scheduling. I wouldn’t be surprised if on any random night you could end up with an all male or all female staff. Were any of the male staff even inconvenienced by the rescheduling? Did they even have to reschedule anyone, or is it a special time/showing? I generally always agree with you, but that was a huge stretch.
Also – until they actually boot someone from the theater on the night of the screening, they haven’t broken any laws. My understanding is that they designated it a women-only night, but there are statements out there that men have bought tickets. My two cents – whether or not you agree with the politics of it, you have to be a real ass-hat as a man to sit in during the screening “in protest”. Everybody needs to chill out. If they want to have a “men only” screening of Thor – they should be able to do that too. Everyone is on high alert for being offended nowadays and we all just need to chill the ef out.
Would it still be illegal if they also scheduled a men only night to balance it out?
Yes, but now instead of a single instance of breaking the law, they’d have 2. I believe that NY (state level) actually has some of these laws, theaters are specifically called out as “places of public accomodation”.
It all goes back to the old “discussions” about mens clubs, gyms, and the like. From a pure business standpoint, why not have men/women only clubs, gyms, movie nights? But historically, complaints about “men only clubs” have come from women that insist they must be allowed into the men’s clubs, but still retain women’s only clubs that will not admit men. Goose and gander and all that.
Oh, puhleeze; give us all a break. I’ve been an EEO professional for decades and do not believe that these events are illegal. I’ve been to several movie events that were not open to the public at large, but were limited to specific groups, and there was zero public outcry. If, as here, people from the excluded group — in this case, men — chose to attend, they were few and far between, as most people accepted that the event was designed for others and respected that. If the event had been held out to be open to the general public, but specific groups — such as men — were then excluded, that would be illegal. But, a rare special event, promoted for the benefit of a defined group, would, generally, be acceptable.
You failed to address this from an employment standpoint. You can’t treat employees differently on the basis of gender. They’re refusing to allow male employees to work this screening because they’re male. Is it a one-time thing that shouldn’t be a big deal? Sure. Is it awesome to have a women only event? Absolutely. But it’s still against the law.
granny, tickets were sold online, the event was/is open to the public at large, which is not the same as “Planned Parenthood rented the theater for a women’s only showing of….”
And I believe NYC and NYState has some very specific public accomodation laws which apply to the theater and makes the situation/event illegal. NOTE: I am not saying I agree with the law, but it is the law and if a “mens only showing” is a public event would be illegal, then a “womens only showing” that is a public event is also illegal. One can’t have it both ways. And that I believe is the main point of the article.
So this is not an EEO situation, this is similar to Christian bakers shouldn’t be forced to bake a wedding cake for a gay marriage.
Lots of private and/or targeted events sell tickets online, though.
I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on TV, but I thought this juxtaposition was interesting:
From the BFOQ explanation: “Would Hooters be Hooters if the person taking your drink order was a 300-pound man, or would it become a nondescript hamburger joint?”
But then you state that it wouldn’t apply here:
“Would the Alamo Drafthouse still be a movie theater with men working? Yes.”
Hooters would still be a restaurant with male (or overweight female) servers, too, no? I would argue that gender segregation is no less important to Alamo’s efforts to create a “unique” atmosphere for this event than it is to Hooter’s business model. So from a legal perspective, why does Hooters get a pass, but not Alamo? The latter is just reassigning male employees for shift or too, the former isn’t even hiring them in the first place. (
Alamo is not staffing it’s entire theater with women employees. They are showing multiple films, and for the single, only, ONE showing, they are adjusting the schedule so the females that are on shift are working that ONE showing. No one is being denied their shift. We are not talking about a days work, we are talking about the location that the projectionist is standing during the ONE showing. The function of the job is the same regardless of the movie, so having a female in the booth does not deny any opportunities or experience that can’t be had IN ANY OTHER BOOTH showing any other movie at that time.
How is this different from ladies night at a bar that hires male strippers for the night (instead of the regular lady strippers on the nights that are not ‘ladies only’). Isn’t it unfair to the regular lady strippers that they can’t dance/work that night?
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