AMC movie theater concessions menu sign.

Things We Saw Today: AMC Will Now Require Moviegoers to Wear Masks Thanks to Online Backlash

Plus ancient game pieces, WW1984 stickers, and more!

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Last week, AMC Theatres announced their plans to gradually reopen theaters across the country. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chain is taking precautions which include more frequent cleanings, reduced seating capacity, and new hand sanitizer stations. But they shocked moviegoers when they announced that while masks are recommended, they would not be required for audiences (employees are required to wear masks.)

AMC CEO and president Adam Aron said in a statement to Variety, “We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy, … We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks. When I go to an AMC feature, I will certainly be wearing a mask and leading by example.”

Ah yes, the political statement of … caring for other lives and following CDC guidelines?! Of listening to science and not turning your business into a COVID-19 factory? This is a deeply irresponsible and dangerous attempt to pander to anti-maskers and put their customers at risk.

Luckily, the theater chain received major backlash on social media, and 24 hours later reversed course. They will now require masks for everyone. “This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers,” Aron said. “It is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks.”

It’s great that AMC responded to public backlash, but it is also infuriating that wearing a mask has become a political wedge issue. Blame the Trump administration, who refuse to wear masks and continue to deny the science. But it has been proven that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Now all we need is someone to invent a mask you can eat popcorn through, and we’ll be in business.

(via NPR, image: bkmcneal on / CC BY-NC-ND)

  • We’re digging these gorgeous illustrations from Jenn Ravenna Tran. (via io9)
  • Check out these ancient Iron Age game pieces that were found in Norway. (via Syfy Wire)
  • If you squint you can see Cheetah’s make-up in this Wonder Woman 1984 sticker set. (via CBR)
  • We’re gonna need a bigger screen! Hulu will be streaming 16 IMAX documentaries this summer. (via /Film)
  • Here’s a deep dive into Star Wars: Squadrons. (via Polygon)
  • Would you buy this Deadpool talking head collectible? (via Nerdist)

Happy Father’s Day, Mary Suevians! Who’s your daddy?

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.