‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler was arrested after being mistaken for a robber while attempting to withdraw money from his account at a Bank of America branch in Atlanta. The incident, which took place on January 7th, adds to the growing number of racial profiling in America of Black people and other people of colour.
Coogler, 35, had gone to the bank to withdraw $12,000 from his own account when he gave the bank teller the pay slip with a note on the back asking her to be “discreet” while counting the money. The teller misinterpreted the incident which culminated in officers being called in to the bank.
The police arrived and handcuffed Coogler before it became apparent that he was innocent. According to The New York Times, Coogler wanted to withdraw the cash from his account to pay a medical assistant who was working for his family. He claimed that he asked the teller to be discreet because he does not feel safe while withdrawing money from the bank.
In a statement, Bank of America said, “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened, and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.” Although Coogler said on Wednesday that the incident “should never have happened”, he added that the bank “worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.”
‘Black Panther’ is a smash-hit Marvel film which became the second-highest movie of 2018, earning six Academy Award nominations and winning three Oscars for best original score, best production design and best costume design.