PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Outrage is growing over a YouTube video in which the owner of popular Philadelphia bar located in the Gayborhood, ICandy, repeatedly uses a racial slur.
In a public Facebook post, ICandy’s owner, Darryl DePiano, took responsibility for the comments made in the video, which he says is three-years old.
His apology reads in part, “This was an extremely poor choice I made on my own many 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.”
Eyewitness News tried to reach DePiano by phone and in-person on Friday, but he was not available. Many in the community say they plan to boycott the bar.
“To see someone who understands discrimination, who is part of a vulnerable community, to turn around and do that to members of our community…it’s just disgusting,” said Anne Wakabayashi of the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club.
“My response is outrage. How can anyone who’s making their money, making a living off of our dollars, not respect our dollars and us,” asked Carlton Humphrey.
Now, the bar could face consequences, both in revenue and by law.
Philly Pride Presents Executive Director Franny Price says the organization has decided to revoke ICandy’s privileges to participate in its annual coming out event, “Outfest,” scheduled for October 9.
“As the organizers of OutFest, we’re not going to allow iCandy to have any vending space outside, nor are we going to have any promotion of them being a major sponsor,” Price said.
Nellie Fitzpatrick, of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, says the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is investigating. That is the body responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the city.
“It’s the law in Philadelphia that you cannot discriminate against someone based on a myriad of identities and classifications and within there, includes race. There is no protection here that suddenly you walk into the confines of these rainbow-marked streets and suddenly, racism goes away. It is here,” Fitzpatrick said.
Some who know DePiano say the video doesn’t reflect who he is. “Maybe it was, but not anymore. It’s three years ago,” Price said. Others want DePiano to reach out to minorities in the community to held build a bridge.
“This wasn’t acceptable in 2013 any more so than it’s acceptable in 2016,” Wakabayashi said.
“We’ve seen the words already and the damage that is has,” Humphrey said. “Now, let’s see some action.”
The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations has scheduled a public hearing to address discrimination within the LGBT community on October 25th.