Alamo Drafthouse has found itself at the center of some big allegations about sexual harassment and poor working conditions that were revealed in a recent expose. The company has now spoken out about the claims made against them and the moves they are making to make sure the situation is fixed.
Trying to Address The Problems
The response from Alamo Drafthouse has come in two ways: CEO, Shelli Taylor, reportedly emailed all employees before the release of the expose to talk about concerns and action items, and a public statement was released as well:
“…Over the past few weeks we’ve seen some current, furloughed, and former teammates discussing their experiences at the company publicly, via social media, and it is deeply disturbing and troubling. We don’t know the details or timeline of many of these allegations – some appear to be recent, while others seem to date back many years. Regardless, they are painful stories of disappointment, frustration, and failings within our culture. We may have been unaware of some of these accounts, some of them may not have been handled properly, but regardless, we want to hear your story and urge you to come forward and report any misconduct…”
A Long List of Issues
Both current and former employees have spoken out about a variety of issues they have experienced while working, including racism, sexism, voiding legitimate tickets to rip off movie studios, and much more.
Most of these allegations were focused on the Kansas City location, and the anger at what happened was more than clear. Some specific examples that were voiced are that “every time” it rained, the sewage system apparently was overwhelmed and overflowed, and the employees were sent in with rubber boots to fix it. Employees had to climb up and down many flights of stairs to deliver food and weren’t allowed to use elevators, even if they had injuries. There was a long line of general managers that came through the location, many of which would publicly belittle employees until they cried. One higher-end manager even asked female employees if they would engage in sexual acts with him and his wife. There are even accusations that employees joked about and disproportionately enforced no talking rules to Black audiences during movies.
But possibly the most disturbing allegation is that the police showed up to the theater one day, saying an employee was wanted for rape. The employee was scheduled to work later that day, but management lied about it to get the cops to leave. The employee was then able to work as usual, sometimes alone with other female employees, before they were apprehended.
A Chance to Make It Right
The movie industry is certainly in turmoil right now with many theaters across the country closed and unsure about their future. This can, though, create a unique opportunity for Alamo Drafthouse to address and fix these issues. The company has hired a workplace culture consultant and the CEO will be, reportedly, meeting with employees 1-on-1, if they wish, and has also sent out a survey to check for additional problems.
We have always been fans of the experience of going to Alamo Drafthouse, but there are very clearly things that need to change within the corporate culture there. The employees deserve to feel safe and valued at their place of work.
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