Black Panther director Ryan Coogler was mistaken for a bank robber at an Atlanta branch of Bank of America and was briefly handcuffed before local police officers realized he “was never in the wrong.”
Less than a year ago, Ryan Coogler committed to keeping Black Panther: Wakanda Forever production in Georgia while fighting against voter restrictions. Since that time, Coogler has faced another obstacle in the state, which happened in Atlanta at a Bank of America branch. TMZ first reported the incident of a bank teller assuming that Coogler was there to rob the joint while conducting a completely legal transaction.
This assumption led to both Coogler (and two associates who were parked in an SUV while he did his business) being detained by law enforcement. (Not great.) The incident was further confirmed by Variety, and here’s how TMZ (which also posted an image from surveillance footage) described what happened:
Coogler walked in rocking shades and a COVID face mask — not uncommon, of course — but he handed the teller a withdrawal slip that had a note written on the back.
We’re told his message read, “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.” Understandable, considering the amount of money he was getting … but this led to the teller thinking something suspicious was going down, and cops were called for an attempted robbery.
Coogler was cuffed by officers, and the whole mess eventually got straightened out, but boy, what a disaster. The director later communicated his displeasure to TMZ. “This situation should never have happened,” Coogler said. “However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.”
Meanwhile, Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (which has already had enough distractions before this happened) will arrive in theaters on November 11, 2022.