Autistic woman dragged from London cinema for laughing too much

Tamsin Parker was forcibly removed from a cinema for laughing too much.
Tamsin Parker was forcibly removed from a cinema for laughing too much. Photo credit: Facebook/Tamsin Parker

A UK woman with autism was forcibly removed from a cinema for laughing too loudly at a film.

Tamsin Parker, 25, attended a screening of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly on Sunday (local time) at the British Film Institute (BFI) cinema in London.

Sergio Leone's classic western is her favourite film because as someone with Asperger syndrome, she relates to the character of Tuco Ramírez, as she has discussed in a video she made.

She went to the screening with two friends to celebrate her birthday.

During the film Ms Parker was asked to leave by cinema staff, allegedly because she was laughing too loudly and at the wrong times, her mother Lydia told The Guardian.

"[My daughter] said 'I am autistic' and a man said 'you're retarded.' Another man, who called her a bitch, was thrown out, but only after she was.

"She was completely humiliated and it ruined her birthday."

She says her daughter was escorted out by security and was eventually reunited with her friends and picked up by her mother in "floods of tears".

According to Lloyd Shepherd who also attended the screening, Ms Parker was laughing loudly but not at inappropriate moments.

"When an amusing moment in the film came she laughed very loudly and I suppose a little bit longer than everyone else, which was a bit startling, and that behaviour continued," he told the Huffington Post.

"It was a bit odd at first but then it was fine, it was obviously just what she was like."

He claims some audience members applauded when she was removed, while another man shouted "shut the f**k up, bitch".

Several people who also attended the screening took to Twitter to complain about how Ms Parker was treated.

BFI released a statement apologising for what it called a "challenging and complex situation".

"We are taking this situation extremely seriously," it says.

"We can and must do better in accommodating all the needs of our customers and we will be addressing what additional provisions and staff training we can put in place."

Some people have suggested that BFI throw Ms Parker and her friends a free screening of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to make up for the incident.