Texting during a movie is rude.
Brandon Vezmar from Texas is taking a stance on the issue by suing his Bumble date after she used her phone during a movie. The Austin American-Statesman reported that Vezmar filed a small court claim for $17.31, the price of a 3D showing of “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”
“It was kind of a first date from hell,” he told the local newspaper.
The 36-year-old said that his date was on her phone “at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.” According to Vezmar, he told her she should text outside, so she left and took the car in which they both arrived.
Vezmar claimed he tried to text and call his date before taking the matter to court. He tweeted a screenshot once his date sent a statement to KVUE anonymously to say that, while she felt bad that his feelings were hurt, she chose to leave because he made her feel unsafe.
“His behavior made me extremely uncomfortable, and I felt I needed to remove myself from the situation for my own safety,” the statement read. “He has escalated the situation far past what any mentally healthy person would.”
The woman also told the Statesman that she planned to file for a protective order against Vezmar because he contacted her little sister to get the money for the movie ticket, which Vezmar denies doing. He told HuffPost his messages to her family never mentioned money; he only requested that she contact him.
The woman told the Statesman that Vezmar’s suit is “crazy.” In her words, it wasn’t a big deal.
“I had my phone low and I wasn’t bothering anybody,” she said, telling the outlet she was messaging a friend having relationship trouble. “It wasn’t like constant texting.”
In his claim, Vezmar states that “while damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behavior is a threat to civilized society.” He told HuffPost that he tried to be a “perfect gentleman” by asking his date to stop and is sorry that she feels uncomfortable. In his eyes, the issue is a straightforward one about selfish behavior.
“If she contacted me and said here take the money, this would be over. She has not,” Vezmar said.
The Alamo Drafthouse, a theater chain famous for its no texting stance, has offered Vezmar a gift certificate to drop the suit, according to a follow-up by the Statesman. CEO Tim League doesn’t want the case to waste the valuable time of the courts.
“On one hand, I am concerned about our courts being clogged with superfluous lawsuits, but as Vezmar states, ‘this is a threat to civilized society,’” League told the Statesman.
Judging from his Twitter feed, he seems to be enjoying the attention he’s receiving ― even if it hasn’t come from his date.
Movie theater attendance has been declining, with 2016 being the worst year for movie sales in nearly 100 years, Vanity Fair reported last summer. Simply based on the reaction to Vezmar’s claim, part of that decline may be due to the price of tickets ― nearly $20 ― and the fact someone else may ruin the experience.
Even the “Guardians” director James Gunn jumped in to the outrage, declaring “she deserves jail time!”
It looks like there’s a lot more to this story than just texting in a movie. But everyone seems to agree it’s a rude move.
Update: This story has been updated to include that the Alamo Drafthouse has offered Vezmar a gift certificate to settle the suit.