Ashanti’s new film “Stuck” took a back seat at her movie premiere on Tuesday night, when a middle-aged white publicist targeted a black press member for her seat–simply because she was too embarrassed to admit she forgot to secure a spot for her only melanated client.
As Page Six reports, a woman refused to immediately move (in Rosa Parks fashion) after a publicist belligerently told her to get up when she realized that she didn’t have a seat secured for Ashanti and her family. What Page Six failed to report is that the lone black press member wasn’t actually in reserved seating, but in a row that happened to be next to it.
In fact, those actually in reserved seating on that row were all white– most of them men—and were not immediately asked to move. It was the lone black girl on the end of the row that the publicist targeted, because let’s face it folks– P.R. Patricia is a white privileged woman who felt it was easier to ask a minority to move then the established patriarchy.
In a calm and controlled manner, the lone black girl explained to P.R. Patricia that the seat she was sitting in was not reserved and even showed it to her. Interestingly, Ashanti’s mother even told P.R. Patricia that the row ahead of her is where she wanted her family to sit. But, P.R. Patricia had other plans in mind. She again raised her voice to the lone black girl, telling her to “move” and “get up now.”
Those around the lone black girl, specifically, two white “spies” likely from Page Six, snickered and laughed as they sat in the reserved seating—which was only designated for cast and crew.
When the lone black girl did not immediately comply, Ashanti joked that she was okay sitting anywhere since she had already seen the film. During this time, not one person in reserved seating offered their seat, including the row of white men, who we later learned were just a friends of a friend.
Eventually, P.R. Patricia realized that the lone black girl was right, she wasn’t in reserved seating. So she finally got up the nerve to ask three of the white men to move.
Knowing she was in the wrong, P.R. Patricia came back to the lone black girl to try to brush off the incident as a simple mistake, saying “Oh, I’m sorry, you know how it is…” The lone black girl simply said, “But the way you handled it was not okay…”
Upset that she was being addressed after she offered her official pardon on the incident, P.R. Patricia cut off the lone black girl abruptly saying she, “did not have time to argue” with her and stormed off like a mad woman.
What’s amazing about the entire ordeal is that P.R. Patricia nor Page Six probably even saw or realized that the film, which touches on race, class and what connects us, follows the idea of being “stuck” but still open for change and growth.
Yet, even with the poignant message playing right in front of their eyes, history seems to have a way of repeating itself and ignorance continues to pursue.
With that being said, maybe P.R. Patricia and Page Six should watch the film again? Or take some classes on unconscious biases and macroaggressions?
Meanwhile, we’ll continue to support our black excellence and save them seats.
Check out “Stuck” also starring Giancarlo Esposito, which hits theaters on April 19.