Washington DC gay bar manager denies ‘racist’ claims after emails leaked
A manager of a gay bar in Washington, D.C. has come under fire after he allegedly requested a “hot white guy” model instead of a black man for an advertisement.
The manager at JR’s, David Perruzza, had an email from 2012 leaked that appears to show him being racist.
Adam Vartian had been commissioned an to create and advert by the bar to publicise an olympic-themed happy hour. Vartian, who was working as a graphic designer at the time, sent the proof-ad which included a black model.
Perruzza then requested that the model be replaced with a “hot white guy”.
“I don’t know how to be [politically correct] about it but do you have a hot white guy?” the email read. “That’s more our clientelle [sic].”
The email was leaked by Vartian on Wednesday and sparked a response by the bar owner, who dismissed the idea that the comment was racist, and blamed the quality of the pictures for his choice.
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“All pictures that were used were awful. We went with none at all. As for all the talk this is getting. JRS 5 years ago was a predominantly white crowd so yes, you advertise to who comes to your bar. That’s business. Now things are very different.” he wrote on Instagram.
“We have one of the most diverse staffs and have had the same staff for years, we also are the only bar to do an event like Arabian nights not to mention the amount of money we give back to the community which supports numerous causes. Don’t believe what a disgruntled person will put on there page,” he added.
Perruzza further defended his remarks to Mic: “I won’t apologize for it, because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that for what was going on at the time,” he said. “Everything was Abercrombie models and pretty boys.”
He claimed that the bar was now much more diverse as it hosted an “Arabian Night” once a month where they play “Muslim music”. He also defended their more recent ads, boasting about one which showed a mixed-race couple locking lips.
Vartian opted to leak the email after becoming entangled in an email with Perruzza over the recent Trump protests in Washington.
“He irked me. He p*ssed me off. We got into an argument, and it got heated,” Vartian said. “It’s not a noble way to put it out there, but I’m glad the information is out there.”