We’re not in Kansas anymore, people! Big Brother is definitely watching, and now we have proof. A mom is speaking out after a recent incident at Radio City Music Hall.
Kelly Conlon and her daughter came to New York City as part of a Girl Scout field trip to Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas Spectacular show with The Radio City Rockettes. However, Conlon did not get to watch the Christmas show with her daughter and other members of the Girl Scout troop because she was removed by security after facial recognition technology recognized her.
Conlon spoke to NBC New York about the off-putting experience. “It was pretty simultaneous, I think, to me, going through the metal detector, that I heard over an intercom or loudspeaker,” she told NBC New York. “I heard them say woman with long dark hair and a grey scarf.”
She then explained that she was asked her name and to produce identification. “I believe they said that our recognition picked you up,” Conlon said.
A sign inside Radio City states that facial recognition is used as a security measure to ensure safety for guests and employees. However, it’s clear that Conlon, who was on a trip with Girl Scouts for petes sake, posed no threat.
Regardless, the guards kicked her out of the show with the explanation that they knew she was an attorney.
“They knew my name before I told them. They knew the firm I was associated with before I told them. And they told me I was not allowed to be there,” said Conlon.
Conlon happens to be an associate with the New Jersey-based law firm, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon. Her firm has been involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant venue that is now under the umbrella of Madison Square Garden (MSG) Entertainment.
“I don’t practice in New York. I’m not an attorney that works on any cases against MSG,” Conlon explained.
A spokesperson for MSG Entertainment released a statement where they doubled down on their decision to remove Conlon from Radio City.
“MSG instituted a straightforward policy that precludes attorneys pursuing active litigation against the Company from attending events at our venues until that litigation has been resolved. While we understand this policy is disappointing to some, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently adverse environment. All impacted attorneys were notified of the policy, including Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, which was notified twice,” the statement explains.
Sam Davis, a partner at the firm where Conlon works, voiced his opinion on the matter. “This whole scheme is a pretext for doing collective punishment on adversaries who would dare sue MSG in their multi-billion dollar network,” he told NBC New York.
MSG tried to point to the positive aspects of the situation, noting that it was just Conlon who was kicked out. Sure, let’s ignore the fact that this mom missed out on a really nice moment with her daughter. “In this particular situation, only the one attorney who chose to attend was denied entry, and the rest of of her group — including the Girl Scouts — were all able to attend and enjoy the show,” MSG continued.
“I was just a mom taking my daughter to see a Christmas show,” Conlon said. “I did wait outside...It was embarrassing, it was mortifying.”
Now the firm where Conlon works is fighting back, challenging MSG’s license with the State Liquor Authority.
“The liquor license that MSG got requires them to admit members of the public, unless there are people who would be disruptive who constitute a security threat,” said Davis.
“Taking a mother, separating a mother from her daughter and Girl Scouts she was watching over — and to do it under the pretext of protecting any disclosure of litigation information — is absolutely absurd. The fact they’re using facial recognition to do this is frightening. It’s un-American to do this.”
It is pretty frightening that we can walk into somewhere now and be scanned just by our face, letting strangers then know our name, age, and occupation. This mom was just trying to take her kid to a Christmas show not spy on MSG Entertainment. Bah-humbug!