One movie-maker is in hot water this week after getting caught using a fake name to push higher ticket prices on white men.
CBC News reports that Shiraz Higgins used the fake name, Sid Mohammed, to promote his “justice-pricing” model, for tickets to the screening of his movie, “Building the Room.” Higgins, who is from Canada, admitted that he has since received death threats on the email account associated with the pseudonym but that he even used it in an interview with the Canadian Press the day before.
“I’ve been wanting to have a layer of safety between me and angry citizens in order to keep the tension from being completely locked in on me,” he said, adding he feels “silly” for using a false name.
“I feel bad that it’s clearly made some people upset and that it has undermined the overall message that we’re sending out here,” said Higgins, who is also the director of “Building the Room.”
The “justice-pricing” logic states that, given the supposed purchasing power of certain groups, white men are to be charged $15 at Higgins’ film, while everyone else is charged $10. Higgins insists that fairness was the motivation for the policy and that it wasn’t a publicity stunt.
“This is not a publicity stunt,” he said, adding that organizers are “pushing forward because we believe it is an important piece of overall conversation that is happening in society right now.”
However, the Blue Bridge Theater Society wasn’t consulted and, upon discovering the ploy, quickly reduced the inflated ticket prices.
“Blue Bridge was not at any time consulted regarding these policies and, had it been, would not have agreed, nor will it ever agree, to policies that are discriminatory towards any person,” Johnson said.
She said Blue Bridge will review the issue at its next board meeting on Sep. 25.
“While we deny any responsibility for the polices by the organizers of event, we are deeply regretful for any offence the polices may cause,” the statement said.
The movie is set to premiere Sep. 28.
Dennis Michael Lynch commented about the overcharging of white men. “Publicity stunt or not, this guy is a complete idiot, and Facebook should hold him to the standards they do the rest of us. All of his promos should be shut down. What is fair is fair.”
Outrage from people on Facebook can be read by clicking here.
Below is the official release showing he ticket pricing and use of fake name:
The first public screening of Building the Room is taking place on September 28th, 2017 at 7PM at the Roxy Theatre (2657 Quadra St, Victoria, BC). This is going to be a fantastic event and we are proud to be introducing Justice Pricing to our ticket sales. This means that our general admission price of $10 will be doubled to $20 for all white cisgender males! We hope that our patrons on both sides of the pricing spectrum will understand the value of this model.
Here’s the press release for the event:
When: 7:30PM September 28th, 2017
Where: Roxy Theatre (2657 Quadra St, Victoria, BC)
What: Screening of comedy series Building the Room
Suggested Price: $10 GA/ $20 for Cisgender White Males (Justice Pricing)
Building the Room is a hilarious comedy series that showcases the trials and tribulations of putting on a stand up comedy show. Director Shiraz Higgins initially intended to create a documentary that shed light on both the behind-the-scenes of comedy show production and on the world of guerrilla marketing. What was intended to be a collaborative process between the director and the cast, a group of up-and-coming comedians, became a source of considerable conflict, strife and disillusionment. The director’s refusal to pay the cast after the completion of filming led to a civil lawsuit.
Filmed in the apartment and workshop of virtuoso production and costume designer Jimbo Insell, Building the Room combines footage of the original production with deposition footage from the civil suit to tell the story of an idea and a cast unraveling.
The series shows comedians struggling through male modeling auditions, professional wrestling events, a bottling incident, and a Santa slave parade, among other things. Cynicism and negativity put the fate of the project in doubt from day one to the final comedy show 10 days later.
This truly unique series combines a variety of styles of comedy both stand up and stunt based. On the whole, it is a glorious portrait of failure, doubt and redemption.
For more information or interview inquiries, contact Sid Mohammed at:
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