30 Sep 2015

Dstrkt club ‘rejected’ women who were ‘too dark’ or ‘fat’

A protest is held outside a popular London nightclub after allegations of discrimination from a group of four black and mixed-race women.

Dstrkt, the popular London nightclub which is frequented by celebrities such as Drake, Rihanna and Jay Z, has been criticised after four women claimed they were denied entry because they were “too fat” and “too dark”.

Lin Mei, 29, explained via Twitter that she had been invited to Dstrkt by a promoter and went to the bar with friends Zalika Miller, 26, Reshia McFarlane-Tapping, 27, and Tasha Campbell, 28.

She claims that she received a text from the promoter prior the event saying that girls who were “fat” or “can’t dress” weren’t welcome and that he “really cares about the white crowd”.

He also said “a lot of the chocolate women who come DSTRKT [aren’t] [good] enough” and while they may think it’s racism, it’s just “the door people being real”.

When they arrived at the venue, they were declined entry, even though some other women were allowed to enter after them. Mei has stated she was told it was because one of the girls was “too dark” and the other was “overweight”.

Once the story was shared on social media, the same promoter allegedly contacted Mei saying: “Are you trying to make me lose my job? If [your] two girls are [too] over weight to get in the club that’s how it is, what the hell are you doing?”

Part-time club promoter Brooke Norton, 19, posted a video on Instagram claiming she witnessed a similarly discriminatory experience while working at Dstrkt on Friday night, after bringing her black friends to the venue.

“There were two white girls in the queue before us and they got in for free but they made my black friends pay to get in,” she says in the clip.

The ‘#DoILookDSTRKT’ peaceful protest was held on Tuesday evening outside the club.

Despite calls for a boycott, Chris Brown’s former girlfriend Karruche Tran made an appearance on the night of the protest and entered through the back door in order to avoid protesters. Lin Mei later thanked all in attendance via social media.

On Thursday Dstrkt issued a statement saying: “Dstrkt restaurant and late night lounge has always operated an anti-racist door policy and it condemns any type of racism or discrimination by customers or staff.

“The night in question of Saturday 26th September was a very busy night and the women who have made the complaint against the venue arrived without having made any prior reservation with the venue. All our tables were fully booked and we had a full general admission guest list and on that basis alone they were not granted entry.

“The only people who were allowed entry after the women arrived were allowed in because they had booked in advance. From our advance bookings we knew that Dstrkt would be completely sold out and the venue has clear health and safety guidelines set out by Westminster Council and cannot exceed our capacity numbers under any circumstances.”

The club said two of the women who made the complaint against Dstrkt had been allowed in the club in the past, and one woman had posted an image of herself inside the venue three months ago on her Instagram account.

The statement went on: “Dstrkt restaurant and club has launched a thorough investigation into this alleged event and found that at no stage did any of the Dstrkt staff said to the women they were not to be allowed in on any the basis of their skin colour or size.

“Comments made by external promoters to the women or in general have nothing to do with Dstrkt and aren’t deemed acceptable.”