Woman Claims She Endured a Racist Attack at 'The Color Purple' Screening

An Alabama woman alleges that a group of teenage boys threw crackers and hurled racist insults at her, her sister, and her best friend.

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An Alabama woman claims to have been humiliated while seeing The Color Purple one day after Christmas. According to WEAR News 3, Alabama woman Kolo Wilkinson attended a screening of the musical drama at an AMC Theater at Orange Beach's The Wharf where she, her sister, and her best friend were subject to an alleged racist attack.

Five minutes into the screening, Wilkinson said that the women were hit by a box of crackers before a group of white teenage boys shouted offensive comments. "A couple of minutes later, someone yelled out the words n****r and negro. And we immediately got up -- we were very scared," she told the outlet.

"My sister tried to chase them down and was almost successful," Wilkinson continued. "Clearly these were athletes. They ran down the parking lot. At which time my sister called Orange Beach PD.”

Orange Beach police are investigating Wilkinson's allegations, with additional leads from witnesses confirming that the boys are from the area and are all under 16 years old.

Wilkinson, who attended the film in a purple shaw in honor of her mother who introduced her to The Color Purple book, expressed that she's now traumatized from the incident. A manager for the movie theater also offered Wilkinson a private screening of the film, as similar incidents have occurred at the location for the past six months.

"I shouldn’t have to wonder if this is going to happen to me or my friends or family when we see a movie, especially one that means so much to my community," Wilkinson said.

Separately, Greenville, North Carolina civil rights leader Rev. William Barber II was removed from a Color Purple showing on Dec. 26, after insisting that he use his own chair in a section for those with limited mobility. Theater employees then threatened Barber, who was with his 90-year-old mother, with trespassing charges, reportedly concerned about the chair's placement.

"If I cannot sit in my chair in a theater in Greenville, North Carolina, there are thousands of other people who will be excluded from public spaces in this nation," Barber said in a press conference on Friday, per ABC. "This is now about what systemic changes, policy changes, changes to training can ensure this happens to no one."

In a statement, AMC apologized for the incident, which caused Barber "frustration and inconvenience brought to him, his family, and his guests." AMC Chairman and CEO Adam Aron has made plans to meet with Barber to discuss further steps on ensuring accessiblity and inclusion.

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