"Hey Marvel Stadium reminder that you can not preach inclusivity and then not let me into the sensory room because you took one look at me and decided I don’t look autistic enough to access it lmao".
Heartbreak High star Chloé Hayden has claimed that a worker at Marvel Stadium was ableist towards her at Harry Styles Melbourne show on Friday, 24 February.
Taking to Twitter on the night - at 7:40 pm, she wrote, “Hey Marvel Stadium reminder that you can not preach inclusivity and then not let me into the sensory room because you took one look at me and decided I don’t look autistic enough to access it lmao”. She said that after sharing her experience, dozens of fans responded with similar stories.
The following day, she tweeted, “Demanding diagnostic papers to access sensory rooms & sensory packs, fat shaming disabled people, refusing to accomodate wheelchair access & laughing at autistic people who are in melt down is complete and utter bullshit,” with the note, “This isn’t about inclusion, this is about human decency.”
After sharing that she had a meeting with Marvel Stadium representatives booked for yesterday, Hayden wrote about why this was such an important issue to spread awareness about. “Marvel Stadiums capacity is 53,359,” she began. “16.5% of the population have sensory processing challenges. That is 8,804 people (at least) who may need access to sensory spaces. Marvel Stadiums sensory room capacity is 12. This is not inclusion. This is using disabled issues to tick a box”.
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Hey @marvelstadiumau reminder that you can not preach inclusivity and then not let me into the sensory room because you took one look at me and decided I don’t look autistic enough to access it lmao 💛— 🌻 c h l o é h a y d e n 🌻 (@chloeshayden) February 24, 2023
A disability advocate, in June last year, Hayden released the book Different, Not Less, which is dubbed “a neurodivergent’s guide to embracing your true self and finding your happily ever after.”
As The Brisbane Times reports, Marvel Stadium’s website states that it’s partnered with US-based non-profit KultureCity so that the venue can be sensory-inclusive for all.
A Marvel Stadium representative has since responded to the incident, providing the following statement:
"We are extremely disappointed to hear of the experience some patrons had at Marvel Stadium over the weekend when they were unable to access our sensory room which was at capacity on both nights.
"After conversations this morning with patrons affected, Marvel Stadium has told patrons that to cope with increased demand a new extra sensory room will be included in the Marvel Stadium redevelopment when it is completed this year.
"Marvel Stadium was the first stadium in Melbourne to open a sensory room and takes great pride in welcoming everyone to the venue for events, with our sensory room being a safe and welcoming space for the many people who have used it since it was first introduced in 2019 including the many people that accessed it over the weekend during both concerts.
"While we sometimes experience capacity issues at major events, we still aim to provide a positive and caring experience for all patrons needing to find a quiet place and we sincerely apologise to patrons for the hurt and inconvenience that was caused over the weekend."
In a live review of Styles at HBF Park, Perth, after all the songs were performed, we were left with the following impression: “From the kids to the mums dragging their partners ‘all the way from Sydney’, to the girls in front daringly dressed up in denim there’s something here for everyone. Showing a true testament to the man’s ability to sell out arenas and fill them with songs that can really erupt in their grandeur.”