Progress Bar, a gay bar in Chicago previously known for its "diversity in music," has come under fire after a leaked email shows the bar prohibiting DJs from playing rap music. Many claim the ban has clear racist implications.
Here's the email that leaked online from the management at Progress Bar:
The bar makes it clear their new policy isn't a loose one:
"This is not a suggestion!! If you play RAP you will not be asked back."
Management also noted that there will be extra security "to help with this transition and one specifically posted next to the DJ booth."
Progress Bar immediately began receiving one-star reviews on Yelp, while many of their patrons spoke out against the change. Drag performer Quinn Hegarty thought the policy was clearly rooted in racial motivations, writing on Facebook:
"Soooo Progress, are you just gonna come out and say black people aren't welcome in your establishment?"
Progress quickly responded to the online uproar by writing on Facebook:
"Progress ownership wants to make it VERY clear that EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE!!! We have no ill intentions here. That can not be stressed enough. … We are still going to play hiphop, please don't read too much into this."
Twitter was having none of Progress's excuses:
Many Chicagoans pledged to boycott Progress Bar for the foreseeable future.
Many people also sounded off on how bad Progress's "apology" was.
It seems like Progress's decision to ban rap music might not have been the best business decision.
Many felt their PRIDE months would be best spent elsewhere...
Progress later released a more formal apology:
Only time will tell whether Progress Bar stays true to their name.