Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment Sued For Discriminating Against The Visually Impaired
A fan has filed a class action suit against Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment stating that the entertainer’s official website Beyonce.com doesn’t cater to those who are visually impaired. According to The Hollywood Reporter the lawsuit alleges the site violates the Americans With Disabilities Act by denying visually impaired users equal access to products and services offered on the site.
A New York woman named Mary Connor who is blind claims she once wished to attend a live concert but until she was able to do so, accessing the website was the next best thing. However, she experienced multiple barriers when trying to get the full experience as those who aren’t visually impaired stating the site is “an exclusively visual interface.” Her attorney Dan Shaked further addressed the issue in an official complaint:
“The one and only form of entertainment that truly presents an even playing field between the visually impaired and the sighted is the joy of music.”
“Plaintiff dreams of attending a Beyonce concert and listening to her music in a live setting. However, when she browsed the Beyonce.com website, she encountered numerous barriers which limited her accessibility to the goods and services offered on the website.”
“Web accessibility requires that alt-text be coded with each picture so that a screen-reader can speak the alternative text while sighted users see the picture.”
“There are many important pictures on Beyonce.com that lack a text equivalent. … As a result, Plaintiff and blind Beyonce.com customers are unable to determine what is on the website, browse the website or investigate and/or make purchases.”
A lack of accessible drop-down menus and navigation links and the inability to use a keyboard instead of a mouse are some of the additional issues that are problematic with the site according to the complaint.
Conner has requested an injunction from the court that would cause Parkwood to make the site accessible to blind and visually impaired customers in compliance with the ADA and is seeking compensatory damages for class members who have “been subjected to unlawful discrimination.”
Parkwood has yet to make an official statement regarding the complaint.
One question: Did anyone try to contact Parkwood with this complaint beforehand, or did folks just run straight to court. Asking for a friend.