Madonna has been banned from the Alamo Drafthouse cinemas after she was caught texting during a New York Film Festival screening of 12 Years A Slave on Oct. 8.

According to reports, Madonna would not stop texting as the movie began and, when an audience member asked her to put her phone away, Madonna allegedly responded with, “It’s for business… enslaver!”

Film critic Charles Taylor made the story public via his Facebook page, claiming that a former student of his had told him about Madonna’s rude behavior:

“Tonight at the New York Film Festival premiere of 12 Years a Slave (a masterpiece, by the way), I sat behind the unholy trifecta of Jason Ritter, J. Alexander from America’s Next Top Model, and Michael K. Williams from The Wire. Plus, a mysterious blonde in black lace gloves who wouldn’t stop texting on her Blackberry throughout the first half of the movie. Eventually, a woman next to me tapped her on the shoulder and told her to put her phone away, and the blonde hissed back, ‘It’s for business… ENSLAVER!’… During the standing ovation, the blonde ducked out and Jason Ritter turned around to make commiserating eye contact, as J. Alexander asked, ‘Who WAS that?!’ Jason then looked down at the floor. His eyes got wide, and he picked up an envelope and showed it to us and J. And it said: ‘2 screening tix MADONNA.’ And sure enough, we looked to the side of the theater and standing against the wall in black lace gloves was Madonna. The worst person in America.”


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Actor Jason Ritter appears to have heard the story, as he tweeted about the film on Monday, trying to steer the conversation away from Madonna and towards the film itself. “The point is, ’12 Years a Slave’ is a beautiful movie, and everyone should see it,” he tweeted.

After the story broke, Alamo Drafthouse, which has a strict policy against cell phone use during screenings, informed her that she would no longer be welcome at any of their venues until she apologizes. CEO Tim League announced the ban over Twitter:

League later revealed in an interview that he had intended the ban as a joke, hoping to encourage people to refrain from texting while watching, but that since the story has taken hold, he fully intends on enforcing the ban.

“Yeah, I’m serious, but I don’t think it really affects her life that much,” League told EW.

Regardless of how it affects, or does not affect, Madonna, angry Madonna supporters have been berating League on Twitter.

Madonna, herself, has not commented on the allegations, but sources say her texting did not stop her from feeling the emotional impact of the film.

“She was wiping away tears after the movie. She said she loved the movie,” an attendee told E! News.

12 Years a Slave opens Oct. 18.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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