Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Girl with Down’s syndrome told to leave cinema for ‘laughing too loudly’

A girl with Down’s syndrome was allegedly asked to leave a Cineworld cinema for ‘laughing too loudly’ at animated comedy The Croods.

Ema Louise Brown was allegedly asked to leave the Cineworld in Birmingham because her daughter Sienna, 7, was in fits of laughter during the film, which was showing on a Saturday afternoon.

Brown says they, along with her son, were laughing along with all the other children present in the cinema when they were ‘rudely’ asked to leave by a member of staff.

She claimed she asked to speak to a manager, who then told her to leave the cinema and stated she “shouldn’t take her child to the cinema”.

Following the incident Brown posted her experiences on social networking site Facebook. The Cineworld page has since been bombarded by posts by other parents outraged at the story.

Learning disability charity Mencap has expressed its amazement at the decision, adding that it has tried to contact Cineworld, which does have special arrangements for carers to go free and autism-friendly screenings, to see what went so badly wrong.

Actress Jodie Whittaker, who appears in ITV drama Broadchurch and whose nephew is in Emmerdale, expressed her disappointment: “I really feel for Ema and her daughter. I’m an ambassador for Mencap because my little nephew has Down’s syndrome. I’d hate to think that he, or indeed any child, would be denied the joy of going to the cinema because of their learning disability.”

Cineworld has said that it liaising directly with the family to try and resolve the issue and have invited Ema Louise Brown to the cinema to meet senior managers to discuss the incident.

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