(JTA) — Management at a Texas movie theater laughed off criticism over alleged sexism in its decision to hold a women’s-only premiere of the film “Wonder Woman” starring the Israeli actress Gal Gadot.
The backlash against the Austin franchise of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain took place on Facebook following its announcement on social media that it would be hosting the women’s-only screening on Wednesday. It prompted the chain to expand its women’s-only program to other franchises.
Alamo Drafthouse creative manager Morgan Hendrix told Mashable that his company is “very excited” that it is “providing an experience where women truly reign supreme has incurred the wrath of trolls,” saying it “only serves to deepen our belief that we’re doing something right.”
Tony Lee, who was among the several hundreds who criticized the plan, wrote on the Austin theater’s page: “Imagine the xxxtstorm if there was any male-only showing or a private showing of any race or sexual orientation … ah, it’s SJW approved,” the user added, using the acronym for “social justice warrior.”
The theater’s management replied on Facebook: “We’re actually still waiting on our SJW certification of this event but crossing our fingers.”
Another critic wrote: “Have you ever had a men’s only showing of any film?”
The theater replied: “We’ve never done showing where you had to be a man to get in but we did show the “Entourage” movie a few years ago.”
Following the criticism, Hendrix said the chain will be “expanding this program across the country and inviting women everywhere to join us as we celebrate this iconic superheroine in our theaters.”
Activists for gender equality have praised the Warner Bros. Pictures production starring Gadot. Whereas film studios have released dozens of major feature film productions centered on male superheroes, only a few titles have done the same with female characters.