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An attempt to charge white men double for tickets to a local screening of a comedy film appears to be a marketing ploy by the film’s director Shiraz Higgins.
Tickets for the screening of Building the Room, at the Roxy Theatre, were listed as $20 for “cisgender” white males and $10 for everyone else. Organizers described the model as “justice pricing” and an attempt to make the event more accessible for groups who are statistically poorer.
The “justice pricing” model incited a barrage of online rage as it was shared through social media..
Speaking on behalf of the event and “justice pricing” was Sid Mohammed, who claimed to be a communications person for Higgins' production company. Mohammed gave several interviews to media, including the Times Colonist, about the controversy and response from the public. But it appears that Higgins was posing as Mohammed. The Canadian Press news service and CBC also carried the initial story
Higgins received $40,000 in funding from the Telus Optik Fund to produce the film, which features local comedians.
Higgins has pulled media pranks before. A few years ago he invited reporters to meet a Salvation Army youth pastor who was supposedly endorsing gay marriage. The pastor was an actor and the coverage appeared in one of his films