The owner of a popular gay bar in Philadelphia is fending off protests and complaints over a video posted online where he can be heard disparaging black patrons, and calling them the N-word, reports the Philadelphia Tribune.
The owner of ICandy, Darryl DePiano, can be heard slurring African Americans on the video that was posted anonymously Sept. 27 in the comments section of a story about discrimination against African-Americans in Philadelphia’s so-called “Gayborhood.”
Although not seen, DePiano’s voice was identified on the tape using the racial slur repeatedly and complaining that blacks are the only bar patrons who ask for free drink tickets.
Writing on Facebook DePiano stated, “As many of you know me and know, I am always striving for diversity, and always willing to listen, learn and grown myself, my business and my team.”
The owner said his comments were made years ago, and, “I definitely learned and continue to learn each day. I SINCERELY and Truthfully Apologize to all my Friends, Valued Customers, and Everyone that I Hurt and Offended.”
Locals are not happy with the apology, stating DePiano’s comments are representative of a pattern of discrimination that black gays and lesbians face — including dress codes they believe are aimed at them
“The minute you walk into the Gayborhood as a Black or brown person, you feel it,” explain activist Shani Akilah Robin who has organized protests after the video release. “They play our music and target us for the very blackness they’re making money off of. This is the reality of being black and queer in America.”
According to former ICandy employee, Rickey Peterson, who was mentioned in the video, he’s glad the bar has been exposed.
“You hear stuff being voiced, or people assuming racism in the Gayborhood,” said Peterson who is black. “I think it’s important that people can actually see proof of how the community is.”
You can listen to the video below: