Press Conference Friday 11:30AM EST
Greenville – Bishop William J. Barber II, D. Min., who was escorted out of a screening of of The Color Purple Tuesday after insisting on sitting in a chair he needs to help with a severe and disabling bone disease, will hold a press conference Friday with community supporters to address the incident.
He has been allowed to use the chair everywhere from movie theaters, to Broadway to the U.S. Capitol, to the White House, to churches, to universities and even in jail after being arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience. WHO: Bishop William Barber, D. Min., president, Repairers of the Breach, founding director, Yale Center or Public Theology & Public Policy; Community Supporters
WHAT: Press Conference to address AMC asking police to remove him from Color Purple screening
WHEN: Friday, December 29, 2023 11:30 AM EST
WHERE: Koinonia Christian Center 1405 SW Greenville Blvd. Greenville, NC 27834
When Bishop Barber, who suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, insisted on using his chair Tuesday, management at the AMC Theatre told their armed security guard and the local police department they wanted him removed and if he wouldn’t leave, to charge him with trespassing. The officers told Bishop Barber they’d have to close down the theater and arrest him if he didn’t leave. He agreed to be escorted out, leaving his 90-year-old mother behind with an assistant. “How ridiculous is it that someone can’t be accommodated as the Americans with Disability Act requires and instead management would have police escort me out?” Bishop Barber asked. “This is about how people with disabilities–regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation–should be treated fairly. With all the issues and real battles going on in the world, for managers of a theater to decide they can’t accommodate you and would rather remove you from a theater is absurd, which is why I prayed for them.” Bishop Barber said the chairman and chief executive of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Adam Aron, reached out and offered to meet with him in Greenville next week to discuss the situation. Barber agreed to the meeting and is hopeful it will lead to just and good things for those with disabilities. He is inviting people with disabilities to join Friday’s press conference.