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by Clint Holloway
October 11, 2013 3:36 PM
170 Comments
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Madonna Banned From Alamo Drafthouse After Texting During '12 Years A Slave' NYFF Premiere

Pop legend Madonna steps behind the camera to direct "W.E."

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.

170 Comments

  • Observer | October 15, 2013 6:37 AMReply

    This story sounds made up to me - Madonna had already attended the premiere of 12 Years a Slave at the Lincoln Center a couple of nights before, as the special guest of the director Steve McQueen. Why would she want to go and see it again so soon afterwards, and at the Alamo in Yonkers?

  • jackie raynal | October 15, 2013 3:35 AMReply

    Great article by Clint! So articulated !boooooooooouuuuuuuuu the one that donot feel a movie house is like to be in a magic place , a church, or a temple and have no respect for the "others".!

  • Mewesley | October 14, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    Insult to injury, her alleged response: "It's for business--enslaver!" It seems that if something is "for business" it is expedient and trumps (no pun...) every other sensibility. I remember sitting in a very stylish cocktail lounge, at the bar, trying to decompress after work with a good (and expensive) martini. Two suits stood back to back talking loudly on their cell phones. After they were done, I smiled and asked if they could take calls outside the door (a few steps away). You'd think I had asked that they give away their first born sons. "It's for business! It's important!" one growled at me. No...it's naked self interest.

  • Lindyk | October 14, 2013 3:02 PMReply

    It's bad enough under any circumstances, but as a film director herself, you would think she would have enough respect for the craft to treat other directors as she would wish to be treated. The self-absorption is unbelievable.

  • Doopa | October 14, 2013 8:31 PM

    Calling Madonna a "director" is like calling Denise Richards a RADA actress but yeah I agree with the jist.

  • madonna's music kills ears | October 14, 2013 2:49 PMReply

    I guess they weren't screening this at her retirement home. Either way, she's an attention whore who finally got her comeuppance

  • CHARLES TAYLOR dumb cu** | October 14, 2013 11:24 AMReply

    the worst person in America ?

    not george zimmerman

    not the child rapist castro

  • SoCalGuy72 | October 14, 2013 10:49 AMReply

    Bitches please!!! Madonna does not have time to step into some low class piece of crap Alamo theater location. She is a living legend. What is happening here is yet another case of people trying to have 5 minutes of fame off of her DESERVED fame. Get a life!! So she texted during a movie. You were annoyed. MOVE ON. GET...A...LIFE.

  • Nilo | December 1, 2013 5:11 PM

    Some low class piece of crap? So what is GRANDMAdonna is doing there if it's how you describe it? Or in the other hand you are the low class poor POS! Another type of idiotic madonna fan who thinks madonna is everything! Whose life will never move unless his master will told to do so! NOW YOU GET A LIFE YOU STUPID PIECE OF DOG TAIL!

  • GET...A...LIFE | October 14, 2013 2:43 PM

    Madonna is too busy killing children in her basement for their lifeblood so yes she has no time for movies

  • JESSE PINKMAN | October 14, 2013 11:26 AM

    if the film WAS a masterpiece.. why was he looking around ?

    is he a pathetic fault seeker perhaps?

  • neil | October 14, 2013 2:30 AMReply

    They did the right thing. It wasn't one text, she was doing it for a long period of time. I can assure you if someone was doing that at one of her premieres, she would have had them thrown out. People that are there to see a movie slavery are not there to hear someone texting away. It is rude. If you have to text while watching a movie, then wait until it comes out on video and do it at home.

  • Tommie | October 14, 2013 12:51 AMReply

    Madonna is amazing, her revolution of love is changing the world. Who cares about a text.

    Get some perspective IT'S A FRIGGIN TEXT!!

  • leo | October 14, 2013 3:12 PM

    Nothing amazing about that washed up Illuminati whore .

  • Jeff Ibitz | October 13, 2013 9:45 PMReply

    MADONNA ROCKS ^ 5 PISS ON YOU CRITICAL IMBECILES! :D

  • Dana | October 13, 2013 5:12 PMReply

    Oh dear god this is just another Madonna bashing. Everyone does crap like this WHO CARES??

  • Serious American | October 13, 2013 1:00 PMReply

    I agree. Madonna is a nuisance. But if you want to stay in the same light, the worst person in America is not Madonna, but a couple named " Barack & Michelle Obama ". They alone are doing More Harm than any episode of " American Greed " tv show has shown.

  • MJLawe | October 12, 2013 10:30 PMReply

    How insulting to Steve McQueen. She was photographed with him before the film and she went on to text during the movie? Nice. Get an attention span and stop making people have to put up with your lack of one in the mean time.

  • David | October 12, 2013 9:42 PMReply

    Alamo Drafthouse, the place where food and drink servers come and go constantly while you're trying to watch a movie. Because that is not at all distracting. Well done, Tim League, your virtue is preserving the purity of the uninterrupted movie viewing experience.

  • WALTER WHITE | October 14, 2013 11:30 AM

    oh no
    it is only a distraction when a celebrity does it

  • tyler4all | October 13, 2013 9:32 AM

    Haha, so true! well, hey, you can't interfere with the theater making a buck by selling burgers and beers or whatever! now texting...well, thats not bringing money into the register. maybe they should sell texting permits or something, that way they can keep making money!

  • jb | October 13, 2013 1:16 AM

    Yes, exactly. Thank you.

  • Dennis | October 12, 2013 7:10 PMReply

    For those protesting that she was just "quietly texting"--well, noise isn't always the issue in terms of disruptive theater behavior. The issue here is having an annoying little screen light in the corner of your vision while you're trying to pay attention to the movie. That always drives me nuts. It's ridiculous that she'd disrespect the filmmakers (being one herself, more or less) by publicly paying scant attention to their work at a high-profile premiere. If you're going to conduct "business," at least have the manners to do it in the lobby. As for her "enslaver" comment...uh, yes, I'm sure her suffering at being told to stop texting was tantamount to that of the slaves in the film. How cluelessly self-important can you get?

  • dan | October 12, 2013 6:48 PMReply

    You probably should have confirmed that was actually Madonna before you went posting some libelous slander about her. Just a thought.

  • Madonna | October 12, 2013 10:48 PM

    Thank-you for defending my honor Daniel. We should hang out sometime, maybe go to a club or something? I can get you in all the cool places.

  • XOXO1 | October 12, 2013 5:54 PMReply

    I bet if someone at the front row of Madonna's show was texting, she would throw a hissyfit tantrum.

    Shes a washed up old diva. Miley Cyrus filled her spot anyway.

  • EVA PERON | October 14, 2013 11:31 AM

    washed up ?

  • xx | October 12, 2013 5:47 PMReply

    oh please... cpuld be something important.. M never does that.... she is an amazing woman... strong woman... inspiration

  • Truestory | October 12, 2013 8:50 PM

    Maybe she will inspire you to use spell check?

  • Glauber | October 12, 2013 6:52 PM

    She plainly didn't inspire you to learn to spell, or to take your time to write carefully.

  • ChuckSands | October 12, 2013 3:59 PMReply

    Wait, I thought Alamo kicked people out for texting during movies in their theaters!! Booo!

  • Dangit | October 12, 2013 3:39 PMReply

    Whats wrong with Michael K Williams?

  • ELDON PERRY | October 14, 2013 11:32 AM

    he was in a show that made human sewage 'fascinating'

  • alenici | October 12, 2013 3:30 PMReply

    She should get cast in the Celebrity Jersey Shore, would be perfect for that.

  • TextandDie | October 12, 2013 3:19 PMReply

    I will throw down in a movie theater over texting. Test me. There are many, many like me. Maybe I'm sitting next to YOU.

  • Weinberg | October 12, 2013 3:14 PMReply

    If you're not there to watch the film, give the ticket to someone who is. Texting during a film is like talking during a play. It's rude and obnoxious, regardless of how world-famous you are.

  • Craig | October 12, 2013 4:22 PM

    It's like texting during a play!

  • bruno schauwecker | October 12, 2013 3:00 PMReply

    Seriously? Get the F**k over it!

  • sean | October 12, 2013 2:39 PMReply

    Oh a sad, sad, cry for PR from Alamo Drafthouse.

  • Glauber | October 12, 2013 6:53 PM

    No it isn't. ADH is popular enough on its own and doesn't need to resort to that. It's plenty successful without that.

  • First Amendment | October 12, 2013 10:15 AMReply

    Love Madonna for this. I don't see angry tirades about banning the folks who reportedly "bawled out loud" or laughed or stood up and cheered during showings of the film elsewhere. Nope. Why only outrage for quiet texting but its okay to have the whole theater bawling like loud babies? Because so we've heard...you're a great human if you adore 12yas and a rotten one if you are "meh." "Enslaver"...brilliant. Pointedly ironic words for people trying to "control" her during a movie about control/slavery....it would be great if we learned she was texting her human trafficking charity/ies (today and now slavery where live humans are suffering) during a movie dwelling on slavery of 150 years ago (where the slaves are long dead). Way to stick it to the PC censors Maddona! Is she going to get the "racist" label too?

  • first and 1/2 amendment | October 14, 2013 2:47 PM

    Yea! invoke the memory of a heinous time in American history because someone told her and her ignorant self-righteous decaying ass to put her phone away for 2 hours. Totally Brilliant!

  • pe8er8 | October 13, 2013 11:35 AM

    Well played! A perfect trolling comment. People are pounding out furious replies as we speak. Let the outrage begin!

  • Citogal | October 13, 2013 7:50 AM

    So, I guess if I sat next to you at a movie with a megaphone and pointed it right in your ear and yakked about something completely different, you couldn't complain because otherwise you would be impinging on my first amendment rights? Yeah, invoke the First without understanding the social context, you sure told the world.

  • Truestory | October 12, 2013 8:20 PM

    This was one of the most pointless explanations to support such rude inconsiderate behavior. Who raised you, Archie Bunker? Your reasoning is just about a palpable as someone heaving a gut purge on you during a meal.

  • Glauber | October 12, 2013 6:55 PM

    Crying, laughing, shrieking, gasping...those are reactions to the MOVIE YOU CAME TO WATCH. The phone isn't. It's a visual, and sometimes audible, distraction.

  • local legen | October 12, 2013 5:34 PM

    Nope, just the rude belligerent, but nice try. First, she's inconsiderate, and then rude. Everyone knows to leave the theater if you have to text as it's totally disruptive.

  • This better Not Be For real | October 12, 2013 1:51 PM

    Haha! Great satire... And if this isn't satire then you have to be the dumbest person on this planet and it causes me physical pain to know that a person as terrible and idiotic as you could possibly have access to a computer. You do know movies are made to elicit emotional responses, right? This is the reason they exist. To cause us to feel something. (That's why it's okay for people to cry during a movie). She was inhibiting the other people around her from being able to have that emotional response. Not to mention comparing her utterly frivolous first world problem to the travesty of centuries of human slavery. Disgusting. She's a spoiled bratty child, used to having everything her way, and everyone telling her yes all of the time. She's just another celebrity monster. If this ISN'T satire, if you aren't just some internet troll, then you are worse than her, you are a sheep following these vapid self-obsessed celebrities, empowering them to be terrible people.

  • Justin | October 12, 2013 11:26 AM

    Being affected by the film you are watching is acceptable movie theater behavior. We do not get angry at people to laugh during a comedy or jump during a horror film for good reason. What is NOT acceptable to click away at your smartphone with it's bright screen through half of a screening. THEN, when it is made obvious that you are being inconsiderate, she disregarded the fact that she was ruining the movie for others and continued on texting.

    I will agree with you that there is likely a point at which one may be sobbing a bit too much to stay in the theater and they should excuse themselves. My guess is that there was some bawling (thought we don't know at what point in the film, perhaps the end) but it may have been exaggerated to hype the film a bit more, but I digress. Simply put, Madonna should have done the same, she should have excused herself from the theater before ruining the experience for others and certainly after being asked to stop. It's fine that you are, presumably, a fan of Madonna, but I would suggest that you try to be impartial and see bad behavior for what it is.

  • Whatever | October 12, 2013 11:06 AM

    People can't really control their reactions when 'bawling' at a film, but you can with texting. You'd probably need emotions and a personality to comprehend this though, not just a simplistic reverence for celebrity that overtakes any understanding of artistic integrity (i.e. the sort of ethos you'd find behind the Entertainment Weekly schedule).

  • nyrulez | October 12, 2013 9:48 AMReply

    I don't understand this obsession with texting and movies - either way. Seriously. I have not felt annoyed by texting from others so far, in common public theatres. Not even notice it. But I guess there are puritans/OCDers in everything. Be it religion or movies.

  • Tosh | October 12, 2013 8:23 PM

    Not all BlackBerry's have physical keyboards (i.e., Z10, Z30). Nevertheless, the bright light is very distracting.

  • Domenic | October 12, 2013 9:58 AM

    If she had a BlackBerry, the incessant clicking would be noticeable. She's a dbag.

  • Soulman | October 12, 2013 9:28 AMReply

    Are people finally realizing after all these years that she is a waste of space and time? Totally talent-free, all she ever did was manipulate people into thinking she had something to offer, other than her monstrously ugly ego. Yuck. Good riddance, you old hag

  • pam | October 12, 2013 12:00 PM

    First Amendment, Are you out of your mine? Controversy over texting in movies is not new and certainly not confined to 12 Years a Slave. And it doesn't matter who does it, a celebrity like Madonna or the anonymous rest of us, it's rude. The light is distracting, and for people sitting near the offender, the tapping on the keyboard is as well. Sobbing during a movie or laughing, clapping or booing at the end, that's how humans respond to entertainment and that's why no one complains about that. But then you seem to have a huge chip on your shoulder about this particular movie. Do tell, why. Have you even seen it?

  • First Amendment | October 12, 2013 10:24 AM

    Texting "noticeable" like loud "sobbing" or "bawling" like lovers of the movie did at other showings? Not an angry peep about that...or people standing up and clapping at other festivals? Nope. But lots of anger on the internet for the folks who walked out as well. Or quietly tweeting. The double standard is ridiculous. Consistent w/ the "watch and learn from this movie or else" bullying that permeates this movie and its fan base.

  • PJ | October 12, 2013 6:51 AMReply

    Ok, it was pretty lame to be texting during a movie, but that hardly makes her the worst person in NORTH America (yes, North America, you uneducated, pseudo-intellectual Charles Taylor). Clearly you need to get bent.

  • You're Wrong | October 12, 2013 1:55 PM

    That alone does not make her the worst person in America, but her attitude when told to stop shows exactly what kind of psychopathic self-obsessed megalomanic she is. People like this ARE the very worst people in America. They only care about themselves and nothing else.

  • ok terrific | October 12, 2013 12:11 PM

    Whoops, pretend I replied to "First Amendment" up there.

  • OK TERRIFIC | October 12, 2013 12:10 PM

    I know you're trolling, but if you honestly can't tell the difference between someone laughing at a joke and someone shining a flashlight into the eyes of the row behind them then I don't know what to tell you.

  • Kat | October 12, 2013 5:14 AMReply

    The event wasnt even at an Alamo draft house ?
    and this affects Madonna how ? This seems to be
    an attempt by the owner of Alamo draft house to get
    Publicity for his movie theater except arent they in Texas.
    The man has already kicked out a person in his theater for texting
    So he has prior history here

    It's one thing if the screening took place at his theater
    but it didn't

    who else has never been to Alamo draft house
    I haven't

  • What | October 16, 2013 1:11 AM

    Probably because you aren't in Texas, Kat. I'm in Texas. Guess what? I've been. Weird how that works, isn't it?

  • Chucky | October 12, 2013 9:47 AM

    Alamo Drafthouse has theaters all over. It just opened in Yonkers and plans to open in upper Manhattan.

  • DiverDave | October 12, 2013 3:34 AMReply

    Meh.... an article trying to gain fame off tripe gossip and defamation name dropping. Not Original

  • Cheetah | October 12, 2013 2:40 PM

    Tripe gossip? Tripe? I'd let it go as a typo, but p is nowhere near t.
    What does originality have to do with this article? It's not a creative work of art, it's an article. Really, what do you mean by that?

  • Rusty | October 12, 2013 3:04 AMReply

    Their "no talking" rule makes it impossible for the blind to use their theaters - I call it discriminatory - they won't even consider the SAP headphones They're never getting a dime from any of the blind people in MY community.

  • Rusty doesn't know what he's talking about | October 12, 2013 1:56 PM

    You're an idiot. See comment below.

  • An employee | October 12, 2013 11:59 AM

    Actually, I work at an Alamo and we work very hard to make it accessible for the blind. We have 4 sets of SAP headphones, and they work in every theater. I'm sorry you've heard bad things, but that's not how we work at all.

  • Dsmithy | October 12, 2013 4:24 AM

    Wah wah waaaaaaaaaah

  • James | October 12, 2013 2:47 AMReply

    Oh, she's conducting business? Maybe she should go to the office instead of a movie theater.

  • John | October 12, 2013 1:59 AMReply

    What a misleading piece of shit. Stick this rag back next to the commode where it can do some good.

  • Pip Nosher | October 15, 2013 10:49 PM

    Josh, you are a riot.

  • Josh | October 12, 2013 6:28 PM

    Ummm, it's a website. Go wipe your butt with your smartphone.

  • michael | October 11, 2013 11:28 PMReply

    One of the most pointlessly stupid articles ever. Someone is trolling for attention, and it's definitely not Madonna, who I'm sure has never heard of the Alamo drafthouse, and would never set foot in one regardless.

  • Andrew | October 12, 2013 12:50 AM

    ^^ Haha. Get owned, Michael.

  • Jack | October 12, 2013 12:06 AM

    Poor Michael. Fanboy. Or publicist. Either way, the worst person on the planet. Right after Madonna.

  • poop scile | October 11, 2013 11:16 PMReply

    pooop

  • Andrew | October 11, 2013 10:49 PMReply

    So she wasn't kicked out during the movie? Alamo Drafthouse FAIL!

  • paul | October 11, 2013 11:19 PM

    She wasn't actually at an Alamo Drafthouse. So it is still an Alamo Drafthouse fail.. for a dumb publicity stunt.

  • Jon | October 11, 2013 10:42 PMReply

    Ummm, as for over 30 years and counting that you don't realize???? She's the QUEEN, she can do what she wants... simple.

  • JON NEEDS HELP | October 12, 2013 1:58 PM

    You need to have your own life. Not worship some monstrosity that has never and will never care about you. She is a joke but you are a bigger one for enabling her.

  • Jynxx | October 12, 2013 3:28 AM

    Wow, you are a happily controlled little sheep aren't you? She learned to play people like you to get ahead years ago, the important ones she slept with... She's just a person who got other people to agree she was a big deal, now she relies on the money, fading notoriety and the few of the drug crowd who actually buys into her being one of them (Even Deadmau5 gets that), the only time you have to be temporarily polite is when they hire security goons to hit you, otherwise I've been perfectly happy to be as rude to them as they ask for in their behavior to me.

  • Escapist | October 11, 2013 10:46 PM

    No, she really can't. At least someone has the balls to stand up to her. Follow the rules, simple.