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‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler mistaken for bank robber

The director reportedly requested a "discreet" withdrawal of a large sum of cash, triggering an alarm

By Hollie Geraghty

A headshot of Ryan Coogler speaking live on CBS Mornings
Ryan Coogler (Picture: CBS/YouTube).

‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler was arrested after being mistaken for a bank robber when trying to withdraw money from his bank account.

The incident, which took place in January, was confirmed by the director to Variety. According to a police report originally obtained by TMZ, Coogler entered a Bank of America branch and requested a withdrawal of $12,000 (£9,100) via a written note.

He reportedly wrote: “I would like to withdraw $12,000 cash from my checking account. Please do the money count somewhere else. I’d like to be discreet.” The withdrawal triggered an alert and the police were called.

The report noted that one officer approached two others waiting outside in an SUV for Coogler, who told the officer that Coogler was a”movie producer”.

A second officer had entered the building and put Coogler in handcuffs, but eventually realised the mistake.

Coogler toold Variety in a statement: “This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.”

“We deeply regret that this incident occurred,’ Bank of America said in a statement to NBC News. “It never should have happened and we have apologised to Mr. Coogler.”

The directly is currently filming ‘Black Panther’ sequel, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ in Atlanta, Georgia.

In April last year, the director faced pressure to pull the film out of Georgia in response to the controversial SB202 voting rights bill, which affects the logistics of voting and elections in the state.

“While I wished to turn my concern into action, I could not do so without first being educated on the specifics of Georgia,” Coogler said in a Deadline guest column.

“Having now spoken with voting rights activists in the state, I have come to understand that many of the people employed by my film, including all the local vendors and businesses we engage, are the very same people who will bear the brunt of SB202.

“For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia. What I will be doing is using my voice to emphasize the effects of SB202, its shameful roots in Jim Crow, and doing all I can to support organizations fighting voter suppression here in the state.”

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ is slated for release on November 11, 2022.