British Film Institute apologises after woman with Asperger's 'dragged' from cinema for laughing


The British Film Institute has apologised after a woman with Asperger's syndrome was "forcibly dragged out of" their London cinema for "laughing too much".

Key points:

  • Tamsin Parker shouted "I'm sorry I have Asperger's" as security staff removed her
  • Some audience members applauded, while some protested, with many walking out
  • BFI apologised and said it was investigating the incident

Tamsin Parker, 25, had been watching her favourite movie, the 1966 western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, when she was removed following complaints by other audience members.

She had been "laughing very loudly but at moments which were supposed to be funny", according to audience member Lloyd Shepherd, who said he left the cinema after the incident.

Mr Shepherd, who documented the incident on Twitter, said Ms Parker shouted "I'm sorry I have Asperger's" as she was being removed.

Asperger's syndrome — which is now considered part of the autism spectrum — is a neuro-developmental disorder that can result in difficulties in social interaction and in intense, passionate interests.

Ms Parker, an animator, made a video in 2017 about "how a Mexican bandit from a movie helped me to discover myself", referring to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

"Some people applauded her being removed! Others stood up and shouted how terrible it was. A large number of us left," Mr Shepherd said.

"As far as I know the man who shouted 'shut the f*** up, bitch', was not removed."

He said he was left shaking with anger, while other audience members tweeted that they felt sick to their stomach.

Ms Parker's sister Sabrina Parker thanked everyone who tweeted with sympathy, and said the BFI had "some apologising to do".


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