U.K. Cinemas Ban Formal Attire As #GentleMinions Meme Results In Despicable Behavior
As NBCUniversal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru took the top spot at the U.K. box office last weekend, some cinemas in the country were forced to ban groups of young people in suits from attending screenings of the film after several locations reported vandalism and unruly behavior.
The disruptions and vandalism are tied to the #GentleMinions viral movement in which large groups of teenagers dress up in formal attire to attend screenings of The Rise of Gru. Some of the collectives have gone a step further and begun interrupting screenings, shouting, and recording everything to put on Tiktok. There have been claims that bananas and other objects have been thrown at screens.
@bhageshh_b Greatest movie of all time 🍌 #minions #riseofgru #fyp #banana ♬ Rich Minion – Yeat
Mallard Cinema in Guernsey reported “stunningly bad behavior” of large groups who threw things at the screen, swore loudly, and hurled abuse at other moviegoers and cinema staff. Police were called twice to the cinema last weekend. According to the cinema’s manager Daniel Phillips-Smith, the interrupted screenings have had a massive financial impact on the theater “simply due to the large amount of refunds we’ve had to give.” He predicts as many as 200 refunds were issued over the weekend.
Another venue in Worcester reported issuing £1300 ($1,550) worth of refunds in a single day as a result of complaints against #GentleMinions groups.
In response, cinemas have started banning the favored outfit of the #GentleMinions. A moviegoer at an Odeon Cinema location snapped a photo (below) of a sign posted on the entrance to the building which prohibited any guests in formal attire from attending The Rise of Gru.
Thoroughly entertained by this sign @ODEONCinemas and then saw a bunch of kids in suits refused entry! #gentleminions pic.twitter.com/zo7seJ5COl
— 𝔾𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝔻𝕦𝕕𝕤 (@gillduds) July 3, 2022
Late last week, as the trend was just picking up steam, Universal Pictures tweeted an endorsement of the movement and the Minions official Tiktok posted a video with a similar message of support. Neither has addressed the situation since reports of #GentleMinions bans have gone wide.
to everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.
— Universal Pictures (@UniversalPics) July 1, 2022