Woman’s Incredible Response After an Autistic Man Was Called ‘Retarded’ and Jeered Out of a Movie Theater

One woman was so moved by a mother’s heartbreaking story of being shamed into fleeing a movie theater after her autistic son’s behavior irritated patrons that she’s doing something inspirational in honor of the family: She’s renting out an entire theater for children with special needs.

Renee Walston’s incredible act of kindness follows a blog post published a few months ago by Emily Colson, daughter of the late Christian leader Chuck Colson.

Colson wrote about a horrific experience during which she, her stepmother and her 23-year-old son Max, who is autistic, were jeered and yelled at by fellow moviegoers until they left a movie theater; one man even called Max “retarded” as the crowd applauded their exit.

Emily Colson and her 23-year-old son Max (Image source: "Movie With Max" Facebook page)
Emily Colson and her 23-year-old son Max (Image source: “Movie With Max” Facebook page)

After hearing the traumatic story, Walston, a mother of three who attends church with Colson at North River Community Church in Pembroke, Mass., decided to take action and create an event called “Movie With Max.”

Walston is renting a local Regal Cinema on March 27 to show “Muppets Most Wanted” to nearly 300 kids — many of whom have special needs, WCVB-TV reported.

“As Christians, we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves,” Walston said. “I just thought that if it were my child, I would have to find a way to make this right for him.”

Image source: Shutterstock.com
Photo credit: Shutterstock

At first, she only rented a 94-seat theater, as she wasn’t sure how people would respond to the event. But now “Movie With Max” is sold out of tickets for a 294-seat space, though a Facebook post explains that the event will likely be held again in the future.

As TheBlaze reported earlier this year, Colson’s blog post titled, “Darkness in a Theater,” recapped the helplessness and pain she felt as the theater audience derided her child.

Now, she has a chance to enjoy the film with her son — something they were deprived of when the traumatic experience first unfolded.


Featured image via “Movie With Max”/Facebook