Ryan Coogler, the director of the MCU film Black Panther was mistaken for a bank robber when he tried to withdraw money
Ryan Coogler was attempting to withdraw $12,000 from the Atlanta Bank. The teller in charge of following through with the transaction reported to her boss that she suspected an attempted bank robbery after mistakenly assessing the situation.
Mr. Coogler wore a covid face mask, sunglasses and a hat. He provided the teller with a withdrawal slip mentioning the amount he was attempting to withdraw from his account. He requested discretion regarding the money and wanted it to be counted somewhere else. He provided all necessary identifications and information.
Since he asked for an amount higher than $10,000, the transaction triggered an automatic notification. This prompted the panicked teller to communicate with her boss that she suspected a robbery. According to the newspaper, the teller was worried about her safety at the time. Mr. Coogler was subsequently handcuffed and detained. He was asked to prove his identity before he was released.
Suffice to say that Coogler was outraged with the situation, reportedly mentioning how it should never have happened to US outlet TMZ.
The reason for the withdrawal was that he was paying for a medical assistant who worked for his family. Due to safety concerns, he wanted the cash amount he requested to be kept as discreet as possible.
Given how the situation eventually panned out, we can say that information on what usually would be another day in the life of a film director was all but discreet. “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It should never have happened, and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.” Was Bank of America’s response to the US magazine Variety. Supposedly, the manager of the teller told her that they should discuss the withdrawal with Mr. Coogler, but she called 911.
Fans of Black Panther and Coogler’s work reacted with ire, calling it an overblown reaction based on an assumption made to Mr. Coogler because of his race. Others justified the situation as a simple misunderstanding given the amount of money he chose to withdraw and how he specifically asked for it to be counted discreetly.
Bankers were quick to comment on social media that there was nothing suspicious of what Coogler requested given how he had his ID, proving that he had an account, and him asking the money to be counted in another room is a regular request.
Thankfully, Mr. Coogler resolved the situation with Bank of America, who addressed it to his satisfaction and has peacefully moved on from the misunderstanding.