Dear AMC, Enforcing Mask-Wearing Isn't A Political Controversy, It's Just Common Sense
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Dear AMC, Enforcing Mask-Wearing Isn't A Political Controversy, It's Just Common Sense

I hope that Aron changes his mind and decides to require all customers to wear masks in AMC theaters because we should all be doing our part to protect each other.

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Dear AMC, Enforcing Mask-Wearing Isn't A Political Controversy, It's Just Common Sense

Going to the movie theater has always been one of my favorite activities since I was a kid. The love for movies carried on throughout my life and was one of the reasons I decided upon becoming a film major in college. Being in quarantine for months has made me miss being able to go to the movies with my friends and family and having that unique experience that only the theater can provide. As much as I would like to go back to the movie theater again, I'm not going to because the best thing that I, and all of us, can do is continue to quarantine.

When I saw that AMC Theatres plans to reopen in July and not make their customers wear masks, I was disappointed and frustrated. The employees will be required to wear masks and will have their temperatures monitored, but not those of the customers. The CEO and president of AMC, Adam Aron, explained that he was not going to require customers to wear face masks because AMC "did not want to be drawn into a political controversy."

Wearing a mask is not political. There is nothing political about it. Making it mandatory for the public to wear masks is just common sense and basic human decency. If there is one thing this pandemic has made abundantly clear, it is that it is incredibly difficult for people to care about the wellbeing of anyone but themselves. As long as they believe they will not become sick or die from coronavirus, they do not care about stopping the spread. Public health should not be seen as political. If anything, AMC's choice to allow customers to decide if they want to wear masks at their theaters is an even more controversial decision than requiring them to make masks. They have now successfully alienated the chunk of the population that rightfully refuses to go anywhere that does not enforce the use of face masks.

Aron believes that the majority of AMC customers will be wearing masks and he stated that he will also be wearing a mask so that he can lead by example. If Aron truly wanted to be an example to the public, he should have made AMC enforce mask-wearing for all of its guests. By allowing the customers to decide whether they would like to wear a mask or not, many will choose the latter. In the past few weeks, more and more people have deluded themselves into believing that coronavirus is no longer a threat and that they do not need to wear a mask when out in public. AMC's decision only validates this uninformed assumption because if such a huge company will not be making its thousands of customers wear masks, why should the public wear them at all?

Allowing guests to go into AMC theaters without wearing masks gives the impression that AMC cares more about making a profit than public health. I understand that AMC has been financially struggling and may file for bankruptcy since they have been closed for so long due to the pandemic. The last thing I want to see as a filmmaker is for movie theaters to close. However, if a theater plans on reopening, it must be done responsibly or not at all. I know that AMC is taking other steps to make their theaters safe for the public, but not enforcing mask-wearing is one of the most basic and important steps that they should have taken. I hope that Aron changes his mind and decides to require all customers to wear masks in AMC theaters because we should all be doing our part to protect each other.

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