Black Panther and Creed director Ryan Coolger didn't have a good start to 2022, not at all. Just one week into the New Year, the esteemed film director was handcuffed by police after Bank of America employees mistook him for a bank robber.
Black Panther director mistaken for a bank robber
Via The New York Times, Coolger was grabbed by police after trying to withdraw money from an Atlanta branch of the bank. The director handed a teller a $10,000 withdrawal slip; Coolger allegedly told the teller to “be discreet when handing him the cash”.
Despite having both his Bank of America card and ID, the teller reportedly received an alert from the director’s account. The teller then told her manager that the director was trying to Rob the bank. The police were quickly called.
Upon arrival, police detained the director’s driver in a patrol car and escorted the director out of the bank in cuffs. After being placed in a patrol car, the director explained that he was trying to withdraw his own money. The director explained that he asked the teller to be discreet as he doesn't feel safe withdrawing cash.
“I’m trying to get money out of my own account,” Coogler said. “She got scared when a Black dude handed her a note. I don’t know what else to say. If she was scared, she’s got to admit that.”
Bank of America apologises
According to the police report, the bank teller believed that Coogler was armed with a gun. Despite showing his ID, bank card and using his PIN number, the experience allegedly scared the teller. At the bank, Coogler was wearing a cap, sunglasses and, of course, a face mask due to the ongoing COVID crisis.
Despite her manager saying they should talk to Coogler, the teller called the police. The teller said: “I have to protect myself. I have to protect my child.”
After the incident, The Bank of America apologised to the film director. In a statement, the bank said: “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened, and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.”
Coogler confirmed that the chain “worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.”
The film director is currently working on the Black Panther sequel, Wakanda Forever, as well as Creed III. Additionally, the director has signed a five-year Disney exclusivity deal to produce Disney Plus content, including Black Panther TV spin-offs.