A Canadian screening of The Red Pill at the Plaza Theatre in Calgary was canceled following complaints from feminists, some of whom flooded the ticketing site with fake reservations under names like “Neckbeard Snowflake.” The screening was promptly reinstated after female men’s rights activist Karen Straughan and Father’s Rights Alberta raised a stink about their decision.
The independently run Plaza Theater first announced the cancelation of the documentary’s April 4 screening after they were inundated with complaints from feminists, who alleged that the film promoted misogyny. Calls to ban the Cassie Jaye-produced documentary about men’s rights activism have surfaced everywhere it was screened, including in the UK and Australia.
“There were just numerous complaints—calls, social media, emails,” said Plaza manager Logan Cameron. The theater’s Facebook page was flooded with angry posts, with some critics calling for a boycott.
Feminists, including Andrea Llewellyn, admitted that she hadn’t seen the film. Speaking to Metro News, Lewellyn said The Red Pill “is such a toxic film that it’s just really inappropriate to be providing a platform for it at all.”
Others flooded the ticketing website with false reservations, presumably to prevent legitimate patrons from attending the screening. Monique Dietvorst of the Canadian Association for Equality told Metro that fake users reserved tickets under names like “Neckbeard Snowflake.”
Supporters of the film, including Karen Straughan, claimed that the Plaza’s acquiescence to feminist complaints was tantamount to censorship. Straughan penned a long post on her blog calling on the theater to reconsider its decision. The theater did so with little fanfare and removed its original Facebook post about the screening’s cancellation.
Fathers Rights Alberta, the MRA group that’s hosting the film, announced on Facebook that the screening will go as planned.
Canadian feminists have a hostile relationship towards active men’s rights organizations within the city, and previously caused the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo to expel members of the Honey Badger Brigade under the pretense that in 2015 they were selling pro-GamerGate merchandise. Like many other progressive organizations, Calgary Expo refers to GamerGate supporters as members of a hate group.