AUSTIN – A New York law professor has filed a complaint over the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s planned “women-only” screenings of ‘Wonder Woman.’
According to KVUE’s partners at the Austin American-Statesman, Albany lawyer Stephen Clark specializes in sexual orientation and employment law. He said the women-only screenings and the cinema's posts about it rubbed him the wrong way.
“I’m a specialist in anti-discrimination law, so I was fairly certain that this was not lawful,” Clark told the Statesman. “If they were trying to do a gay-only ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ I would feel the same way.”
Clark told the Statesman he filed a complaint with Austin’s Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office and is drafting a formal written complaint. He added he initially shrugged off the screening thinking it was a one-time event, but told the Statesman the cinema's suggestion it would add showings in other cities led to the complaint.
“Their attitude was really off-putting to me…the suggestion that anybody who pointed out to them that this was illegal was misogynistic or insecure,” Clark said. “Granted, a number of the men posting were nasty, but if you’re the one hosting the event and you’re already teetering on the edge of illegality, you might dial back the rhetoric.”
The decision by the Drafthouse Cinema for the screenings has drawn support and condemnation, including an email by Richard Ameduri of St. Louis to the city. Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s response to the email has itself gone viral.
As of early Friday afternoon, ‘Wonder Woman’ holds a 93 percent rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The film has also been banned in Lebanon because of a decades-old law that boycotts Israeli products and prevents citizens from traveling to Israel or having contact with Israelis. The film’s star, Gal Gadot, was born in Israel and served two years in the Israeli Army.