Madonna took a scolding and a ban from a movie theater for texting during a premiere. But which other famous faces have been outed as text villains?
A Texas movie theater chain has banned Madonna from their establishments after she was caught texting during a screening of 12 Years a Slave. Madge was apparently tapping away on her phone during the film’s premiere at the New York Film Festival last week and was sternly reprimanded by a patron who asked her to stop. According to reports, the star’s haughty response to the request was: “It’s for business… enslaver!”).
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain has a strict no-talking, no-texting policy in place, enforced by ejecting any movie-goer who violates it. The chain’s founder and CEO Time League later tweeted that Madonna would be unwelcome at Alamo theaters until she “apologizes to movie fans.”
The grande dame of pop is not the first celebrity to get in trouble over anti-social texting habits. Back in 2010, Jersey Shore star Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi landed herself in hot water after tweeting about the perils of gridlock from her car – just hours after she had struck a plea bargain to avoid jail time for disorderly conduct.
Snooki’s tweet – “Stuck in Newark traffic is no fun” – was soon followed by another in which she complained about using manual transmission, making it quite clear that she was behind the wheel at the time of writing. Although she avoided arrest, Newark Mayor Cory Brooker got wind of the tweets and reminded her via Twitter that she had committed a ticketable offense.
The same year saw the tragic death of celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan who was reportedly tweeting about his dog moments before his car plunged off a Malibu cliff. Best known for performing multiple surgeries on stars of The Hills Ryan’s accident prompted a wave of public awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.
The charge has been led by Oprah Winfrey, whose campaign to get fans to agree not to text while driving has received massive support from both the celebrity and earthling worlds. Oprah’s ‘No Phone Zone’ pledge has helped consolidate safe texting campaigners all over the United States, including Justin Bieber (who recently shot an advert for the Drive Safe organization) and Sharon Osbourne. Osbourne had her own text-related shunt in 2011, and has since vowed never to use her phone while driving again.
As the social – and legal – rules surrounding good texting practices evolve, mobile communications firms are stepping up to help people send time-critical SMS messages without risking their lives. Ez Texting has introduced a raft of features allowing users to take advantage of their services even if they’re on the road often. Bulk texts can be scheduled to go out at a pre-determined time, and drip campaigns send a timed series of messages to a specific group of contacts. Recurring texts allow users to compose a message that can be send out on a regular basis whether they’re up in the air, stuck in traffic, at a movie theater or otherwise away from their desk.
Between public campaigns, celebrity endorsements, government legislation and private enterprise, we are moving closer to putting an end to needless road death caused by texting. An end to movie theater nuisances – famous or otherwise - would be the icing on the cake.