A New York woman sued megastar Beyoncé Knowles’ management company Parkwood Entertainment LLC on Thursday after claiming the singer’s website discriminates against folks who are blind.
Mary Conner filed a class-action lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Jan. 3, the Hollywood Reporter reported on the day the suit was filed. The suit claims that Beyoncé’s website www.Beyoncé.com violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because it doesn’t allow blind fans to get tour updates, purchase merchandise and doesn’t permit fans to buy tickets.
The lawsuit against Parkwood Entertainment stated, “Defendants are denying blind and visually-impaired persons throughout the United States with equal access to the goods and services Parkwood provides to their non-disabled customers through http//:www.Beyonce.com.”
Conner, who is described in her legal filing as having no vision at all, said she’s been a fan of the “Crazy In Love” singer for years and “dreams of attending a Beyonce concert and listening to her music in a live setting.”
However, Dan Shaked, Conner’s attorney said the singer’s website lacks the proper visual software which verbalizes information relayed by photos for the visually impaired.
“Plaintiff brings this civil rights action against Parkwood for their failure to design, construct, maintain, and operate their website to be fully accessible to and independently usable by Plaintiff and other blind or visually-impaired persons,” the suit states.
Shaked said for in order for blind individuals to access the website it “requires that alt-text is coded with each picture so that a screen-reader can speak the alternative text while sighted users see the picture.”
The lawsuit also cites the Americans with Disabilities Act and New York law which “requires places of public accommodation to ensure access to goods, services, and facilities by making reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.”
On behalf of Conner, prosecutors are requesting that Beyoncé and Parkwood Entertainment provide the necessary software on the website that is “readily accessible to and usable by blind individuals.” They’re also asking the singer’s company to acknowledge that it discriminated against the visually impaired.
The lawsuit also requests coverage for Conner’s legal fees and “compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by proof.”