Not every domestic ticket buyer who helped “Incredibles 2” snag $180 million had a pleasant weekend outing with the Parr family. At least one Twitter user witnessed a fellow theater-goer experience a seizure, brought on by scenes featuring strobing lights:
Update: I was just watching Incredibles 2 in theatres tonight when a fellow patron collapsed in a seizure. PLEASE HEED THIS WARNING — THIS ACTUALLY OCCURRED. Stay safe! https://t.co/OhYj5HRDxi
— Emma 🌻 (@emma_ml_lohman) June 16, 2018
I’m a big fan of Pixar and Brad Bird, but the insensitive use of strobing lights in Incredibles 2 was unacceptable. My wife spent most of the movie with her head buried in her jacket scared that she was going to have a seizure. This was NOT a fun time at the movies. @DisneyPixar pic.twitter.com/66nxq321oe
— ERod 🔨 (@bbusterbuster) June 16, 2018
Between 2.5 million-3 million Americans have been diagnosed with epilepsy and 75,000 to 90,000 of those individuals have photosensitive epilepsy that makes them susceptible to seizures brought on by bold visual stimuli. On Saturday, the Epilepsy Foundation tweeted, “People who live with photosensitive epilepsy, you may want to be cautious about seeing this film.” The foundation elaborated further in a statement, which read in part:
Members of our community have expressed concerns about flashing lights in the new Disney Pixar movie “Incredibles 2,” and, in certain instances, people having experienced a seizure during the movie. We stand with our epilepsy warriors and their families as they voice their concerns about the movie and appreciate the efforts some theaters have already made to post warning signs for people waiting to see the movie.
To avoid any serious medical incidents, the Epilepsy Foundation is requesting that Disney Pixar post a warning on all its digital properties, including relevant websites and social media channels, about what has been described as “flashing” and “strobe” lights in its “Incredibles 2” movie. There should be a warning of the potential effects on people with visual sensitive epilepsy or migraine features.
Veronica Lewis, a college student with impaired vision, kicked off the social media conversation with a cautionary Twitter thread and blog post. “There are at least five scenes throughout the movie, all of which feature the villain, that use bright white flashing/strobe lights for more than fifteen seconds, with at least one scene going over 90 seconds in continuous strobing lights,” she wrote. Lewis’ descriptive audio device alerted her to some — but not all — of the film’s flaring lights.
However, she called the lights integral to the “very well done” plot, and wished only for more consideration from Pixar and its parent company, Disney:
I am not calling for a boycott of Incredibles 2, or to change the movie. It is very well done, and the strobe lights are an important point in the plot. I just wish Disney/Pixar and theaters alike would issue a warning that the movie contains several scenes with strobe lights
— Veronica Lewis (@veron4ica) June 15, 2018
In response, Variety reports Disney has asked all theaters showing “Incredibles 2” to alert audiences about the possible seizure risk, and a representative for AMC confirmed that its locations now all feature said signage.
The film opened this weekend on 4,410 screens. Lewis shared photos of the warning now posted at theaters nationwide, and pictured below: “‘Incredibles 2’ contains a sequence of flashing lights which may affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photo sensitivities”:
IndieWire has reached out to Disney and Regal Entertainment Group for comment.