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Women-only ‘Wonder Woman’ screenings violated anti-discrimination laws
In a letter to the city last month, Alamo Drafthouse admitted that its promotion of a woman-only screening of Wonder Woman was in violation of Austin, Texas’ anti-discrimination ordinances. Alamo Drafthouse hosted women-only showings back in June, which caused backlash from men who felt discriminated against and resulted in two official complaints.
According to the Austin-American Statesman, the Drafthouse offered to send DVDs of the film to the men who filed those complaints.
The two complaints were filed by law professor Stephen Clark and an unidentified man. According to Austin equality laws, public spaces are not allowed to limit services because of race, sex, or sexual orientation. The main mistake Alamo Drafthouse made was its heavy advertising of the screenings as “women-only.”
“Respondent did not realize that advertising a ‘women’s-only’ screening was a violation of discrimination laws,” the theater wrote to the city. “Respondent has a very strict non-discrimination policy in place, but this policy did NOT include a specific prohibition against advertising.”
The screenings were praised by feminists everywhere and Mayor Steve Adler. Alamo Drafthouse initially defended its decision to have these screenings by replying to critics with snarky comments. Now, the chain is offering to send these men Wonder Woman DVDs, an update of its discrimination policies, and to share the letters of their points of view to its staff.
If the men don’t accept these offers, the city can launch an investigation into the complaints before deciding on a possible prosecution of the theater chain.
Sarah Jasmine Montgomery is a Daily Dot contributor whose writing and criticism cover all things pop culture, with an emphasis on how communities of color impact physical and digital cultural spaces. Her writing and photography have also appeared in Texas Monthly, the Fader, Complex, and Billboard.