Always the one to court controversy and attention wherever she goes, Madonna could not help but express herself during the New York Film Festival premiere of “12 Years A Slave” earlier this week. Fresh off releasing her short film “secretprojectrevolution” and spearheading a global initiative to protect freedom of expression, she was spotted at the screening of Steve McQueen’s slavery drama exhibiting less-than-stellar moviegoing etiquette.
The news originated from this Facebook post by film critic Charles Taylor, who passed along the following anecdote from a former student:
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 issue of texting during movies has been a sore point among moviegoers for some time now. No one knows this better than Tim League, founder of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the Austin-based theater chain that kicked out a patron for texting during a movie and went on to produce several amusing advertisements with celebrities urging moviegoers to refrain from using their mobile devices when the lights are down.
Upon hearing of Madonna’s violation, League took to Twitter, barring her from stepping foot inside any of the Drafthouse cinema locations until she issues an apology to moviegoers.
Madonna has yet to respond, perhaps because she has too many business-related texts to catch up on.