Madonna is no stranger to controversy, but the singer may have taken things too far by committing one of the biggest movie theater etiquette faux paus: texting during a film.
The Queen of Pop attended a Tuesday screening of “12 Years a Slave” at the Alamo Drafthouse during the New York Film Festival and, according to an audience member, was texting throughout the film and even lashed out at someone who asked her to stop.
Reportedly, film critic Charles Taylor shared the following story from an audience member:
“Tonight at the New York Film Festival premiere of ’12 Years A Slave’ (a masterpiece, by the way), I sat behind the unholy trifecta of Jason Ritter, J. Alexander from ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ and Michael K. Williams from ‘The Wire.’ Plus, a mysterious blonde in black lace gloves who wouldn’t stop texting on her Blackberry throughout the first half of the movie. Eventually, a woman next to me tapped her on the shoulder and told her to put her phone away, and the blonde hissed back, ‘It’s for business… ENSLAVER!’ I turned to the shoulder tapper and loudly said, ‘THANKS!’ and gave her a thumbs up. The rest of the movie, I kept thinking about how I wanted to tell the blonde what a disgrace she was. During the standing ovation, the blonde ducked out and Jason Ritter turned around to make commiserating eye contact, as J. Alexander asked, ‘Who WAS that?!’ Jason then looked down at the floor. His eyes got wide, and he picked up an envelope and showed it to us and J. And it said: ‘2 screening tix MADONNA.’ And sure enough, we looked to the side of the theater and standing against the wall in black lace gloves was Madonna. The worst person in America.”
The Alamo Drafthouse has a strict no-talking and no-texting policy,. The indie chain’s co-founder and CEO Tim League took to Twitter to announce his displeasure with the incident.
He later clarified that the tweet was a joke and that he just likes “bringing the issue to the fore,” but didn’t say he wouldn’t enforce the measure.
The Madonna incident is the most recent example of the debate over technology use in theaters. At Toronto, movie blogger Alex Billington called authorities to complain about texting and emailing during a screening of “The Sacrament.” Meanwhile, Dutch film company 2CFilm created a second-screen viewing option to pair with helmer Bobby Boerman’s horror film. The flick was, appropriately, called “App.”