A New York law professor has sued a theater chain for discriminating against men with women-only screenings of “Wonder Woman.”
Stephen Clark, 48, decided to sue Alamo Drafthouse after seeing a wave of complaints on the theater’s Facebook page.
“There was a vibrant argument happening on Facebook,” Clark told The Washington Post. “But when the theater responded to complaints, they were pretty snide about it and willing to mock anyone who had a complaint and that really struck me.”
The Albany Law School professor added, “There is also the fact that what they were doing is illegal.”
Alamo theaters across the country held the exclusive screenings and sold out quickly, the chain said on its website.
“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz,” the theater’s Austin location wrote on its website. “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.”
Other women-only screenings were also held in Brooklyn.
Clark’s lawsuit accuses Alamo of not just discriminating against male customers – but also male employees by staffing only women.
“It’s the principle of the thing,” he said. “I’m a gay man and I’ve studied and taught gay rights for years. Our gay bars have long said that you do not exclude people because they’re gay or straight or transgender — you just can’t do that for any reason.”
Clark further explained, “We have to deal with the bachelorette parties that come to the gay bar,” he added. “They’re terribly disruptive, but if you forbid women from coming to a gay bar, you’re starting down a slippery slope. It’s discrimination.”
On Facebook, unimpressed men railed against the Alamo in Austin.
“Great, let us know when you have guys-only screenings of Thor, Spider-Man, Star Wars, etc. Let’s see you walk the walk now that you set this precedence,” Mike Canales wrote.
The theater responded, “Very sorry if you feel excluded. We thought it might be kinda fun — for one screening — to celebrate a character who’s meant a great deal to women for close to eight decades. Again, truly, truly, truly, truly sorry that we’ve offended you.”
“Wonder Woman,” which was directed by Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot as the title character, is the first superhero flick with a woman in lead role since 2005’s “Elektra.”