Woman with Autism forcibly removed from BFI

Short version of this story, a woman with Autism is watching a film at the British Film Institute, she is laughing loudly and annoying others. Some audience complain and throw insults at her, then she is forcibly removed from the theatre by security.

Read about it here. Guardian article

There are many problems with this. Firstly, regardless of her condition the fact that the first response to someone laughing is to physically remove them and cause great distress, that’s assault plain and simple.

Secondly, there is complete lack of regard for her condition. No one bothered to simply ask her to be quieter. Members of the public can be un-empathic but you would expect the BFI to have some policies around tolerance and understanding and to train their staff around this.

Their apology is useless, I shall be boycotting them and I hope others do as well. What if she had a heart condition, or epilepsy and had a seizure due to the stress? Even if she didn’t it’s not OK in any way. This has made me angry and it should you as well. Imagine you got removed from a place because you broke an unwritten social rule you didn’t know about?

You can see in the article this woman is no threat to anyone and it was also her birthday, what appalling behaviour by BFI staff. Again, this is assault, end of.

Pretty sure when she bought her ticket it didn’t say “no laughing” on it. A colleague of mine was there and walked out, he asked to see their policies on disability and accessibility and they could produce nothing.

I believe in second chances and not firing someone because of a mistake but this is one case where some heads should roll. Myself and many others are campaigning for more understanding about people’s conditions, I certainly didn’t expect this from the BFI, pathetic.

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