On their wedding anniversary in October, Barbara Hart and her husband were removed unceremoniously from a Brandi Carlile concert at Madison Square Garden. According to her account, security said that she was being removed due to her employment at Grant & Eisenhofer, a law firm currently litigating a class-action suit against MSG’s parent company, Madison Square Garden Entertainment. Later, Hart deduced that she’d been flagged by the venue’s facial recognition software. This was confirmed by a representative for the corporation in a statement to Rolling Stone published on Wednesday.
Hart is not involved in the litigation against MSG. However, in their statement, the company said that their policy is to bar lawyers employed by firms involved in active litigation against them from any of their venues. (Other than its flagship arena, MSG Entertainment also runs Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, and the Chicago Theatre.) The statement reads: “MSG instituted a straightforward policy that precludes attorneys from firms pursuing active litigation against the Company from attending events at our venues until that litigation has been resolved. While we understand this policy is disappointing to some, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently adversarial environment.”
This week, a second attorney employed at a firm working against MSG in court was removed from an MSG venue's premises by facial recognition software. Kelly Conlon of Davis, Saperstein, and Solomon was escorted out of Radio City Music Hall along with her daughter and a Girl Scout group she was chaperoning to see a Rockettes show. Conlon is also not involved in her firm's litigation against MSG.
Fight For The Future's Evan Greer blasted MSG's "deeply invasive surveillance apparatus" in a statement to Rolling Stone. “This is the perfect example to show that these tools can be used in ways that are really alarming," he said.
The FADER has reached out Hart, Conlon, and MSG for more information.