A Dallas-based restaurant is facing backlash on social media after a video showed the owner threatening to kick guests out for twerking.
Kevin Kelley, the owner of comfort food eatery True Kitchen + Kocktails, is seen in the video urging the DJ to stop the music before yelling at patrons, allegedly for twerking to the music playing inside of the establishment.
According to one source, the DJ was playing “Circle (Throw Dat Ass In A Circle)” by rapper Lil Ronny MothaF.
“All this twerking and shit, take it to Pryme, take it to Pink, don’t bring it here because we are a restaurant,” Kelley says toward the crowd of sitting customers.
No customers can be seen twerking in the video, but the owner says he “invested a lot of money so Black people can have somewhere nice to go to” and that twerking was not a part of the concept he developed.
As Kelley continues to berate customers, he says that “75% of his customers are ladies,” claiming that twerking would reduce the level of respect his male customers have for his female guests.
“How can I tell the men to respect themselves, and you guys are twerking on the glass,” Kelley said.
Before walking away, Kelley tells customers that they should “get the fuck out” if they want to continue dancing, causing the crowd to audibly gasp in shock.
The video, which was uploaded Sunday evening by Twitter user @DJGreenVillian, caused a stir on social media over the owner’s harsh words for his clientele.
“RESTAURANT suicide on camera,” the user captioned the video.
The restaurant owner’s berating of Black female customers also sparked dialogue on social media about the effect of respectability politics on Black culture.
“Many of you are elitist and will never be free bc you constantly measure everything by yt respectability politics and standards which was made to discriminate against you in the first place,” one user tweeted Monday morning.
Other made memes and shed a more humorous light on the situation in the viral video.
The restaurant didn’t tweet an official statement responding to the criticism but tweeted “💯🙅🏾♂️” in response to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Desmond Bryant, who said the owner was trying to “keep the standards high for the Black community.”
In response to the backlash on social media, Kelley posted a statement and video footage on the restaurant’s Instagram account on Monday. In the post, he apologized and added context about the incident.
"While I would like to apologize to the patrons who I offended by my poor choice of wording, I think this full story and a bit of video may help your understanding of the final straw with guests addressed and asked to leave,” the owner wrote.
Kelley wrote that the “guests at issue” were at three different tables and that employees initially politely asked them to stop standing on furniture and twerking. Kelley said the situation escalated when a customer stood on the table and began to twerk against the glass window. The owner then said that the restaurant could have been “the target of a lawsuit” if the woman fell, and he asked the customers to leave.
Kelley's statement was largely met with positivity and agreement in the comment section.
“No need to explain anything… people need to learn how to act out in public!! PERIOD!!!” one user commented.
But there were still some mixed responses and questions regarding Kelley's professionalism. One user said the owner's handling of the situation was indicative of how Black people “allow white people to define what respectability is.”
“All this justification, when all you have to say is sorry,” the user commented under the post.
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