RICHMOND, Va. — Calling Mufasa’s infamous death scene horrific and traumatizing for viewers, Bow Tie Cinemas plans to provide grief counseling at the theater for patrons watching the computer-animated remake of The Lion King, officials confirmed Tuesday.
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“We’re anticipating a lot of distressing emotions for attendees watching Mufasa die while bravely protecting his cub, Simba,” Janet Dowell, a spokesperson for the theater, stated in a press release. She went on to explain that the bar portion of the theater’s lobby will be converted into a private section exclusively available to patrons exiting the film. This section will serve bottles of cheap wine and beer to help attendees cope, in addition to walk-in therapy sessions that will include complimentary boxes of Mike and Ike.
“We’ve partnered with local organizations that specialize in crisis centers and grief counseling, and we’re grateful to say that many residents will be volunteering their time to hold, hug, and cry with those who are deeply affected by what is undoubtedly the most gut-wrenching scene that Disney has ever produced.”
“We’re honestly surprised that the MPAA didn’t give this an R rating,” she added.
Dowell says that some of the proceeds from the film will also go towards funding a crisis hotline available for patrons throughout the summer, should any post-traumatic episodes occur. A similar program was previously instituted for Toy Story 3 with great success, and Dowell is confident in this iteration.
“We know what this scene in the film did to all of us when we were children in the 1990s. Watching a tragedy like this with top of the line graphics and production could leave a permanent scar.”
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