London Cinema Axes Crime Movie Brotherhood After 'Gang Brawl'

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer

A London cinema has stopped showing urban crime drama ‘Brotherhood’ following a violent ‘gang brawl’ incident in which a member of staff was attacked.

The Vue Cinema at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London, was the scene of the assault last week, in which a 28-year-old staff member suffered a laceration to the eye.

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The Metropolitan Police told Buzzfeed that the incident occurred prior to a late screening of the film, at around 11pm, and a man was taken to hospital to have the wound treated.

So far no arrests have been made. An earlier version of this report suggested the victim could lose an eye, but Vue Cinemas have since released the following statement: “Met Police have confirmed that at the time of the incident a small facial injury occurred, this was not a life changing injury and was not caused by a knife.”

It also reported gangs brandishing knives brawling with security, and using fire extinguishers and wet floor signs as weapons.

A staff member who wished to remain anonymous told the paper: “It all kicked off when we refused to let in one of the gang who didn’t have ID.

“They got riled up and started yelling then they saw another gang turn up. They started hitting on each other and one pulled out a knife.

“A guy tried to escape over the counter and the knifeman chased him round all our staff.

“People were throwing fire extinguishers and using signs to hit each other with. There was popcorn flying everywhere.

“This man got hit in the eye with something and it took his eye out completely. It’s traumatised us. He had blood running all down his shirt.

“There were two security guards for over 20 people they were powerless to stop anything.

“We are terrified and some are refusing to come back to work until there is proper security and are refusing to work if that film is showing.”

Vue has confirmed that it is no longer screening the film at that location, but would not comment further.

However, a former member of staff told Buzzfeed that employees have been told not to speak to the media about the incident.

“I only found out the subject matter today after one of the staff working there was brave enough to tell me what happened and that they were all gagged from speaking out about it,” they said.

“They haven’t been giving any time off or counselling for what they witnessed and I can only imagine this to be a distressing thing to see.”

A statement from Vue said: “We can confirm that there were incidents at the Vue Stratford site in Westfield last week, however while they are being investigated no further comment will be made.

“The welfare of our customers and staff is our top priority and we will take all necessary steps to ensure this at all times.

“Alongside this Vue run an Employee Assistance Programme and confidential helpline and make all staff aware that time off can be arranged through line management in the event of any serious incident or occurrence.”

The movie is the third in the series, written and directed by Noel Clarke.

Image credits: Lionsgate