Madonna, an original instigator of popular-culture hullabaloos, is now at the center of a slight and slightly tame controversy. It's perhaps the tamest controversy that this maven of contention has ever been embroiled in! But don't worry, there's a call for apologies, as well as a sultry outfit, a total zinger, and everything else you want from a healthy celebrity controversy.
In case you didn’t hear, there was a raging debate about texting etiquette, which was as loud as the hissing “hush” produced by librarians that's louder than any of the people talking. It all began because, last week, Madonna was brimming with stuff to say about the premiere of Steve McQueen’s slavery drama, 12 Years a Slave, at the New York Film Festival. Fellow moviegoers described her as a “mysterious blonde in black lace gloves.” Special gloves, she thought, that allow her to do whatever she wanted.
She hoisted her Blackberry between these lacy phalanges and tap, tap, tapped. Hey? What’s going on? Oh, I’m just in the dark at a movie, using the glow of this phone to cast a weird shadow on my face. Maybe I’ll Instagram that; you know how I like weird lighting. Anyways, someone poked her and told her to put down her phone, “and the blonde hissed back, ‘It’s for business … ENSLAVER.’” Hilarious, pertinent joke.
But onto the consequences for the pop empress. Madonna does not emerge unscathed from her moments of distractions. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain has banned her for life. They're historically into people not texting.
Tim Leach, founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, knows that this is a good way to get people talking about all the interesting new etiquette questions that queens of pop, regular celebrities, and regular people face every day. Here’s a snippet of the letter he sent to the cinema managers:
In the unlikely event that Madonna will be visiting your location in the upcoming holiday season, please inform all box office and concierge staff that she will only be allowed to see a film at the Drafthouse if she first apologizes for her actions at the premiere and acknowledges that texting during a movie is rude and disrespectful to the filmmaker and the rest of the audience.
This is first person ever banned from the Alamo Drafthouse preemptively.
This is a publicity stunt, of course, that will be unlikely to affect Madonna’s life in any way. But this woman has probably never met a controversy she didn’t love. Perhaps this little fuss will make her feel like she can't watch a movie again if she doesn't cause some sort of distraction in black lace.