AMERICA— After backlash from its initial reopening plan which did not require the use of face masks, AMC declared on June 19 that it will now require all customers to wear face masks in its movie theaters.
Just one day before, on June 18, AMC stated that it would not require face masks in order to avoid “political controversy.” AMC President Adam Aron told Variety, “We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary.”
However, this decision soon received tremendous criticism on social media, with hashtags such as #BoycottAMC and #AMCisCanceled trending after AMC’s announcement. The company acknowledged the criticism they were receiving, which is why they decided to change their reopening plan and require customers to wear face masks.
In a statement, the company declared the following, “This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers, and it is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks. At AMC Theaters, we think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests. Accordingly, and with the full support of our scientific advisors, we are reversing course and are changing our guest mask policy. As we reopen theaters, we now will require that all AMC guests nationwide wear masks as they enter and enjoy movies at our theaters. The speed with which AMC moved to revise our mask policies is a reflection of our commitment to the safety and health of our guests.”
The company reported that 450 of its 600 locations will be reopening on July 15, hoping to attract customers with the premiere of Disney’s Mulan and Warner Bros.’ Tenet.
In addition to the requirement of face masks, the company will also include social distancing measures, enhanced cleaning procedures, and simplified menus to ensure customer safety.