Fantastic Fest and the Alamo: What’s new after 2017’s harassment scandal
One year ago, the Alamo Drafthouse was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal the beginnings of which went back nearly 20 years, a scandal that broke before and during Fantastic Fest, the chain’s signature film festival celebrating all things genre — think horror, crime, science fiction.
Here was a company, homegrown in liberal Austin, that prided itself on being progressive, the sort that held women-only screenings of “Wonder Woman,” with an owner and extremely public face who was a well-known Bernie Sanders supporter, and which presented itself as not only a high-quality entertainment experience but as a community you could join just by participating in this high-quality entertainment experience.
Over a week in 2017, many saw that sense of community vanish. Some fans took it personally and felt betrayed.
Recently, the American-Statesman spoke to fans, former fans and Alamo Drafthouse executives to discuss where the Drafthouse community is a year later, before the next Fantastic Fest opens Sept. 20.