Moms Walk Out of Bad Moms Screening to Protest Theater's Treatment of Nursing Mothers
50 moms organized a trip to see Bad Moms at a Florida theater, but walked out in protest after two moms brought their infant children
Hoping to finally get a night out, a group of over 50 moms organized a trip to see Bad Moms in Fort Myers, Florida, on Friday night.
But the planned night of fun took a turn when the theater manager kicked out two of the moms, Juliana Valverde and Brooklynn Cahill, for bringing their newborn babies to the R-rated movie, and around 35 of the moms walked out with them in protest, News Press reports.
Fourty-six of the moms, including Valverde and Cahill, purchased the tickets online, only to discover upon entering the theater that children under the age of 6 are not allowed in R-rated movies, even with a parent’s permission, according to Regal Cinemas policy.
Cahill wrote in a Medium post that she was taken by surprise when they wouldn’t let her and her daughter in the theater.
“He ripped the ticket and said ‘Your movie is to the right, by the way you can’t bring your baby,’ ” she writes. “I was shocked, embarrassed, and very let down.”
It didn’t help that Cahill was nervous about bringing her daughter in the first place, and only came after the other moms reassured her and Valverde, both of whom have daughters that only breastfeed, that it was fine with them.
The ticket-taker directed Cahill and Valverde to the manager, who said they could exchange their tickets for the screening of Ice Age: Collision Course. They did so, but once they passed the ticket taker, the moms slipped into Bad Moms to join their friends. The manager found them and told them to leave, even though they spotted other women not in the group with kids between the ages of 3 and 5.
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“I saw there was other children in there as well, so I asked, ‘I understand there’s a policy but why are you just asking us to leave?’ and he said, ‘that’s none of your concern,’ ” Valverde told NBC2 in Fort Myers.
“There’s obviously an issue here, and it’s not the fact that the babies are watching a rated-R film, and it wasn’t that they were noisy because the one baby was sleeping… I didn’t know if it was because of us and nursing or what, but they didn’t say anything to the other moms with children.”
“Yes the movie was rated-r but my baby is 4 weeks old, in a wrap, facing my chest, and asleep- where is the common sense?” Cahill writes.
Valverde and Cahill, along with more from their mom group, started arguing with the manager in the lobby. During the conversation, Valverde’s daughter became fussy and she realized she needed to breastfeed.
“The baby was fussy, and one of my friends said, ‘Maybe you need to nurse,’ and I was trying to hold off because it is embarrassing to nurse in public. But I did,” Valverde says. “And he looked at me with disgust and told me I needed to cover up or leave. Which I was covered up because I always have a blanket with me so I wasn’t fully exposed.”
In tears, Valverde and the other women demanded a refund and left the theater in protest.
Valverde now plans to sue Regal Cinemas for prohibiting her from breastfeeding in the theater lobby.
“I’m shocked that at this point in time, that we are still dealing with this,” she says.
Regal Cinemas did not yet return a request for comment.
•With reporting by JESSICA FECTEAU