North Carolina cocktail bar under fire for playing film featuring actors in blackface

According to WCCB, an upscale cocktail bar in Charlotte, North Carolina is facing controversy after playing an old film for patrons in which actors were dressed in blackface.

The bar, meanwhile, has apologized, claiming that it was an innocent mistake.

"It happened Friday night at Sophia’s Lounge in uptown Charlotte. Alexandra and Kevin Keith, a Black couple, say they went into the business for date night. When they sat down, they noticed a black and white movie being played, and then they saw the actors in blackface," reported Morgan Fogerty. "The couple tells WCCB they asked for the movie to be turned off. They say their server told them this: 'She informed us that there was a Black family that was there before us, and had the same complaint, and when she (the server) mentioned it to the manager, it was taken with a shrug,' says Alexandra Keith. Her husband Kevin adds, 'So, at one point, they turned it back on.'"

"Sophia’s Lounge management sent WCCB a response that reads in part, 'We have taken immediate action to ensure this program (or similar programming) will not be shown again. In keeping with our theme, the lounge had been playing ‘classic’ films via Turner Classic Movies.' And, 'The management team has been made fully-aware of this situation and is monitoring what is broadcasted so that this will not occur again. We thoroughly and completely apologize to all of our guests for this unfortunate situation,'" the report continued.

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The practice of blackface, which is associated with racist mockery and appropriation of Black culture, is still seen occasionally, causing an uproar when it does.

Multiple elected officials, from former Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to Republican local officials in New Jersey, have faced scandals after old photographs of them in blackface have resurfaced. And some schools have been plunged into turmoil following blackface incidents on their campus, including a Colorado school where people re-enacted the murder of George Floyd.

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