“I am sorry”: Owner of NYC gay bar Monster apologizes for racist debacle

Just one day after the story of racism at New York City gay bar Monster went viral, the owner of the club has accepted the resignation of the general manager who ignited the controversy.

Charles Rice, owner of Monster, announced via Facebook that Italo Lopez, the general manager of the popular gay venue, had quit. Lopez sparked a huge backlash after describing a flyer for “Manster”–a drag night hosted by popular queen Honey Davenport–as “like we’re promoting black night and I don’t like to get into black rink night people cool get the wrong idea and is not good for the businesses.” Lopez made the remark to club DJ Mitch Ferrino, who shared the comments with Davenport ahead of her Saturday night performance.

Related: Leaked texts reveal racism at NYC gay bar and the queens are not going quietly

The remarks infuriated Honey Davenport, who expressed concern to Rice via text message. When Rice seemed dismissive of her concerns, Davenport took to the Monster stage and informed a packed crowd of the behind-the-scenes drama. She then refused to perform, dropping her microphone to the floor and storming off stage. The news sent tremors through the NYC club scene, and prompted several other drag queens to pull their acts from Monster as well. House DJ Ferrino also announced he would depart the venue over the remarks.

Honey Davenport exits the The Manhattan Monster Bar

Posted by Davide Laffe on Saturday, September 29, 2018

Now, in order to quell the backlash, Rice has delivered a statement apologizing for the mess and offering amends. He announced the resignation of Italo Lopez, and that he would begin requiring all Monster employees to attend racial sensitivity training. He also offered words of regret:

“[O]n behalf of The Monster, 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.”

Lopez and Davenport have yet to comment on Rice’s words at the time of this writing. In other words, the protest worked, folks.