Audience flee 'Joker' screening after man starts cheering brutal killings and spitting at others in New York cinema
The unidentified man was escorted out of the screening at AMC Empire 25 near New York's Times Square on Friday
There was panic among the audience at a recent screening of 'Joker' after a man started spitting at people and loudly cheering every time someone was killed on screen.
The bizarre incident took place during the screening of 'Joker' starring Joaquin Phoenix as Batman's sadistic nemesis at AMC Empire 25 near New York's Times Square on Friday,
According to several cinema-goers, the man's violent behavior prompted fear among the audience as they thought he would "start hurting people". Almost one-third of the audience reportedly fled the screening.
One cinemagoer, Nathanael Hood, tweeted a picture of the man who allegedly disrupted the movie. Alongside the picture, he wrote: "This is the guy who spent our entire screening of JOKER in NYC spitting at people and clapping whenever Joker killed somebody. Security escorted him out after a third of the audience fled the theater out of fear that he'd start hurting people."
Another Twitter user, Etai Benson, wrote, "I was there. Dude sat next to me. I saw him pour a full bottle of tequila into his slushee b4 the movie started. When he stumbled away wasted, I thought he had left. But I guess he just sat somewhere else and started his clapping. Shit was scary - like a 4-D movie experience." Retweeting his post, Hood wrote: "I was two aisles behind him after he started clapping and spitting. I knew I smelled alcohol!"
He also mentioned how a fellow audience member 'calmly confronted' the man and de-escalated the situation until security arrived. "Coming out everybody was shaking his hand and calling him a hero. I asked for his name and he said 'V for Vegas'. Not all heroes wear capes, folks," he wrote, referring to the character V from 'V For Vendetta', an anarchist freedom fighter who tackles injustice.
He later posted a 400-word blog post about the incident on Tumblr. "Last night during my screening of Todd Phillips’ Joker in midtown Manhattan, a lone thirtysomething white man snuck a bottle of Tequila into the theater. During the opening credits, he poured the entire thing into his Slushee and by the middle of the film he was stone cold drunk," he wrote.
"It wasn’t the applause itself that was disturbing; Phillip’s deliberate class-based provocations against the rich and powerful were so effective that during an earlier scene when Arthur killed three businessmen who attacked him on the subway, the entire audience whooped its approval. But this man kept clapping when Arthur—now fully the Joker—and his army of clown-faced vigilantes began killing innocent people and he continued clapping long after the carnage ended."
There is no official comment on this from AMC Cinemas.