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Chris Rock Makes Showgoers Lock Up Their Phones—And The Move Has People Torn

Chris Rock Makes Showgoers Lock Up Their Phones—And The Move Has People Torn
Updated 4 months ago

Chris Rock performed at the London O2 on Saturday with a controversial new policy in place: audience members had to lock their phones in tamper proof pouches administered by Yondr, a U.S. startup founded in 2014 and based in San Francisco. The pouches are self locking. Once the phone is inside, the only way to take it out of the case is to exit the venue and tap the pouch on an 'unlocking base.' Many feel that this is the way of the future. Rock's show is perhaps the highest profile use of the devices yet, and there were mixed feelings.

Some felt that all shows and events should institute this policy:

But others thought the connectivity of the modern world made this idea untenable:

And one man did, in fact, have an emergency in the middle of a show — which led to him getting kicked out. Chris Penman was at Chris Rock's show at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday. At intermission he went out to check his phone because his dad had just undergone a heart transplant. He spoke to an usher, explained the situation, and that usher gave him permission to unlock the pouch. But despite the approval, he was thrown out, because rather than remaining in the designated 'unlocking zone' to wait for the response from his family, he took the unlocked phone back with him into the audience.

Chris told the Scotsman:

I must have only looked at it for about 15 seconds, no-one was on stage and I held it discreetly on my lap, then I was approached by a guard. As they were going through it, the text came in from my brother saying my dad had managed to take his medication and eat without being sick - which is what I was waiting for. My dad is in the heart transplant ward in the Golden Jubilee in a really bad way. I explained the full thing but they still said I had to leave. I couldn’t believe it - I’m still baffled today. It’s just extraordinarily petty and unreasonable. I’m happy that my dad is doing better but I’m angry because my wife paid £140 for the tickets and we didn’t even get to see Chris Rock.

Some people weren't terribly sympathetic:

But other folks felt for him:

And this guru stepped in to tell us what we all know to be true: