A group of almost 50 women attending a screening of the new movie, “Bad Moms” were not pleased with their experience at the Regal theater in Fort Myers, Florida. Some, who had brought their young children with them, were told to leave the R-rated movie. As it turns out the theater doesn’t allow kids under 6 to see R-rated flicks, even with parents, but that’s not the excuse the theater gave one mother.
Juliana Valverde brought her baby with her, and was breastfeeding, when a theater employee approached her.
“[He] was like ‘You can either cover up or you can leave.’ I was just, at that point, I was so hurt and walked away. Tears came down.,” she told WTKR.
“They were outside dealing with the manager trying to get things squared away,” said Amber Cebull. “But what ended up happening was he was unwilling to budge on the policy.”
Cebull says while talking with the manager in the lobby, the moms claim the manager went too far. They say he requested Valverde cover up while breastfeeding her baby.
“They can’t go everywhere,” said Cebull. “People don’t want them in restaurants, people don’t want them in other places, people don’t want them nursing in public. Where are moms supposed to go?”
Daniel Garza with Wilbur Smith Attorneys at Law sat down with us to talk more about the case.
“Somebody can’t stop the mom from breastfeeding,” said Garza.
But he also says there’s an important question to answer.
“Was this mother kicked out because of the policy or because she was breastfeeding?” asked Garza. “That’s what we need to determine.”
Women in Florida are permitted to breastfeed in any public or private place, according to state law. “I don’t need anyone’s approval to feed my baby,” Valverde said.
It’s unclear if Valverde was targeted because she was breastfeeding or because she was with a young child.
LawNewz.com reached out to the theater. The manager would not comment on the matter, and a request for comment from Regal’s media department has yet to be answered.