Barber turns over handling of treatment at Greenville AMC theater to civil rights attorney

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Bishop William Barber II held a press conference update today at First Christian Church of Greenville following his removal from a Greenville theater in December.

Barber was attending a screening of The Color Purple William Barber II with his 90-year-old mother. He said that he was escorted out by two Greenville Police officers after managers of the movie theater said the special chair he needed for medical reasons was a fire hazard.

Barber said that he met with AMC Entertainment Holdings Chairman and CEO Adam Aron over dinner for about four hours on January 2nd but said there was more to consider following that meeting.

Barber said that shortly into the meeting, it was evident that Aron had been given some wrong information about the way Barber was escorted out of the theater. Barber also said that while he was under the understanding that the meeting was private and individual, Aron had said that he was meeting with a council of some sort.

“I will tell you today I am hurt and bothered by the distortions that were brought to the table,” said Barber.

Barber also said that since AMC’s CEO had been consulting with a team, he would now be doing the same.

“I am announcing that I have turned all former meetings and actions over to national civil rights attorney Harry Daniel,” Barber said.

Barber said that while Aron did mention another meeting, from now on all the communication will go through Daniel with the end goal of having training for the workers of AMC.

“It’s not a matter of like, it’s not a matter of personality, it’s a matter of law,” said Barber.

Disability Rights North Carolina CEO Virginia Knowlton Marcus said she thinks this is the right thing to do.

“Bishop Barber is doing the right thing by standing up for the systemic issue that is implicated here. He personally experienced a great indignity,” said Knowlton Marcus.

“This isn’t about William Barber or one night in December. It’s about the law. It’s about treating every man, woman, and child who has disabilities with compassion and dignity. And being assured that every place will “Accommodate Me Carefully.” It’s about recognizing that whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me,” Barber said.

WITN also clarified with Daniels that they are not suing to which Daniels replied, “At least not yet.”

WITN also reached out to the AMC theaters regarding the matter and the press conference held today, but we did not hear back.