The manager of a gay bar in New York City has resigned following accusations of racism.
The Manhattan Monster Bar in Grove Street was embroiled in controversy after general manager Italo Lopez allegedly sent racist messages to DJ Mitch Ferrino for the promotion of a club night called Manster.
In the texts, Lopez is claimed to have written that he did not like the flyers Ferrino sent him for the night, saying they made “it look like we are promoting black night…people cool get the wrong idea and is not good for businesses [sic].”
Black drag queen Honey Davenport, who was set to perform at Manster, pulled out on the night of the event on September 29, after being shown Lopez’s messages.
In a video posted on Instagram, Davenport explained to the crowd that she would not take part in the night, saying: “I cannot be a part of this anymore.”
She then dropped the microphone and walked off stage.
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Now, in a statement on Facebook, Charlie Rice, owner of the Manhattan Monster Bar, said he had accepted Lopez’s resignation, adding: “[We] offer our sincere, deep regrets for the hurt this has caused our community.”
He also said that all staff at the bar would be required to take part in racial sensitivity training.
“We are deeply upset as to how the language used in the recent text messages that came to light on social media miscommunicates our strong belief in community and diversity,” Rice wrote.
“We at The Monster are not going to make excuses. Rather, we are using this as an opportunity to learn and to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Rice continued: “As members of the LGBTQ community, we know it is often those who love us most who say something stupid, out of ignorance without thinking of how it will affect us,” Rice said. “We are going to use those personal experiences to grow upon with relating to all minorities.”
He added: “I am sorry. I can’t take away any of the negative feelings you may have about us as a result of this situation, but I can promise that it does not represent us in the past, present or future.
“We will use this experience to grow and ensure our words, our behavior and our advertising represent us all.”
PinkNews has contacted The Manhattan Monster Bar and Lopez for comment.