What began as a footnote at the bottom of a Facebook event description has turned into an international conversation.
Shiraz Higgins’ event for the premiere of “Building The Room”, a comedy/documentary web series initially introduced “justice pricing” in the form of $20 tickets for straight white males and $10 tickets for everyone else.
Predictably, that didn’t go over well.
First, forums such as Vibrant Victoria took on the issue, with numerous locals voicing their opinions. But soon, after news outlets got ahold of the story, “justice pricing” was making national and international headlines. Higgins told Victoria Buzz that he’d even received death threats.
“Experts” Consulted To Craft Detailed Pricing Chart
In a statement released this morning, he revealed that he’d consulted “experts” to craft a model that can “finally make everyone happy.”
“The past 72 hours or so has been a marathon. I have done countless interviews, have had my little event published many dozens of times, and have been flooded with feedback,” he said. “Justice Pricing has always been a work in progress, but the speed with which this turned into a frenzy has left me working around the clock… We have just completed that work and hope that we can get the new pricing model out to people before the previous one becomes a source of anymore hurt and anger.”
That model is complex, to say the least. Complete with 34 footnotes, well over a hundred different price options, and 32 different “ethnicities”, prices vary depending on numerous factors.
Click here to view the full pricing chart.
“In reaction to many comments asking why our pricing model was targeting a single group, we have attempted to respond to the best of our ability on a tight time schedule with an updated pricing model that better reflects the complexities of privilege,” said Higgins.
“In order to determine your suggested ticket price, please read through the following table, all of the applicable footnotes and the accompanying addendum. REMINDER: THESE ARE PRICE SUGGESTIONS AND ARE VOLUNTARY [sic],” he wrote.
Owners of the Roxy Theatre Respond
The Blue Bridge Theatre Society, who owns Roxy Theatre, said Wednesday the venue was rented and the event was organized by the group showing the movie.
“The upcoming screening of Building the Room has been rented to, and been entirely organized by a group not in any way associated to, or affiliated with, our society,” general manager Rebekah Johnson said on Facebook.
“Tickets would not be sold through the Blue Bridge box office system and neither ticket prices nor policies governing them have been established by the society. Blue Bridge was not at any time consulted regarding these policies and, had it been, would not have agreed, nor will it ever agree, to policies that are discriminatory towards any person,” Johnson said.
“While we deny any responsibility for the polices by the organizers of event, we are deeply regretful for any offence the polices may have caused any individual,” the statement ended.
Anyone who can’t find their ethnicity or who has issues with how your ethnic grouping or identity has been represented is asked to e-mail [email protected]