A 21-year-old, who asked to be identified as Priscilla, is claiming that a prominent London club turned her away and cancelled an event she had booked in the space due to the color of her skin.
Priscilla had booked the club, Tiger Tiger in London's Piccadilly Circus, to celebrate her 21st birthday.
Though her white friends entered the venue without issue, she and her black friends were denied entry. She described her experience to Huffpost UK:
"It was really surreal and one of the most humiliating experiences of my life."
.@TigerLondon is racists. On Friday my friends and I were heading to a 21st private birthday hosted in tiger tige… https://t.co/YthVT0pgKm— Eda Cazimoğlu (@Eda Cazimoğlu)1542570459.0
According to Priscilla, a manager told her:
"The manager said: 'We don't want you guys here. You're 5% of our revenue and 100% of our problems'. We were then told that they're cancelling my event."
Why? The management stated “you lot are 5% of my revenue and 100% of my problems”. My friend’s birthday was cance… https://t.co/bSFL6uIHfn— Eda Cazimoğlu (@Eda Cazimoğlu)1542570573.0
Tiger Tiger issued a statement saying the club doesn't "tolerate any form of racial discrimination."
Stating they reviewed CCTV footage of the incident and questioned the staff members involved, the club concluded there was "no racial discrimination involved in refusing entry to the party in question," and that Priscilla and her party's behavior was "in breach of Tiger Tiger's policies."
@EdaCaz Hi @EdaCaz, we’re very concerned to hear this. We do not tolerate any form of racial discrimination and as… https://t.co/H6zuFyAkWD— Tiger Tiger London (@Tiger Tiger London)1542709058.0
A spokesperson for the club commented:
"To ensure the safety and welfare of other customers the General Manager asked the guests to leave and made a full refund to the party host."
@EdaCaz @PeoplesMomentum @TigerLondon Literally 2001, all over again.— Sophia (@Sophia)1542797189.0
Priscilla disagrees strongly with the spokesperson's characterization of events:
"Their justification was that this group was being rowdy [...] The policy is to deny entry to someone who you feel is not behaving in an appropriate manner – that doesn't mean you get to cancel the event, altogether."
"We were all dressed amazingly. All the boys had smart shoes on. I dragged all my friends from up and down the country to come and stand on the street – looking like fools."
"It was completely humiliating. The way that the manager was speaking to me was condescending, patronising and I pointed it out to him."
@EdaCaz @TigerLondon Hard to believe -straightforward racism in central London in 2018! Can they be prosecuted unde… https://t.co/1AAAEbPd2o— Don O'Riordan (@Don O'Riordan)1542723804.0
The 21-year-old, who's studying politics at University College London, has little doubt she's been the victim of discrimination:
"Because of the colour of our skin, we were painted out to be aggressive, rowdy and it was just completely false."
"My white friends, who were let in, were completely intoxicated, drunk, but all my friends outside were very respectful and well behaved."
"Management kept on using racialized words like 'aggressive', and said we were compromising the safety of the guests."
@EdaCaz @quiana_mj @TigerLondon Damn I loved tiger tiger definitely crossing them off my list now https://t.co/0yAvGA3Af0— BBWeaveHERSTORY💋🤬💋 (@BBWeaveHERSTORY💋🤬💋)1542660455.0
Priscilla plans to take legal action against the club, although proving racial discrimination is an uphill battle especially in cases where one party has the right to refuse entry for a variety of reasons:
"I'm a paying customer and the way I've been treated is absolutely disgusting. The way he spoke to me, I'll never forget it."
"In this day and age, you don't have to call me a racial slur or spit on me for that to entail racism...Racial discrimination is very difficult to prove but I'm a black woman in the UK – I know discrimination when I see it."
"I've been a bit concerned about press coverage of this matter because many may feel as though we're playing the race card but, in this day and age, people are more offended by being called racist than actually being racist."
Twitter was most definitely on Priscilla's side.
Someone techy needs to create a Black List so we all know the places to avoid. I’m so done with these establishment… https://t.co/NH35Q8iLJY— Dr Annabel 🙅🏿♀️ (@Dr Annabel 🙅🏿♀️)1543137543.0
@EdaCaz @TigerLondon That is absolutely outrageous, I'm shocked/horrified. There should be a boycott.— Stuart Dillon (@Stuart Dillon)1542723994.0
@EdaCaz @TigerLondon Thank you for sharing and give them hell— Jon Juan Giovanni 😋 (@Jon Juan Giovanni 😋)1542733566.0
@EdaCaz @FLOTUK @TigerLondon To whom do I report to or where can I make a complaint. Disgusting— Plantain seller (@Plantain seller)1542714240.0
@EdaCaz @TigerLondon https://t.co/qG7SvQrcp2— JS (@JS)1542628379.0
Racism like Priscilla experienced should be viewed as completely unacceptable the world round.
Hopefully, with reactions like these flooding Tiger Tiger, there will be less instances of discrimination in the future.