Williamsburg patio bar Crown Victoria was blasted online this week after an incident in which its security guards mocked a woman who was beaten up outside the bar went viral. Comedian Akilah Hughes told Jezebel that the security staff at Crown Victoria watched unfazed as a man brutally beat her and a friend up outside the bar on Halloween. According to Hughes, her friend stepped in to help her, and the man and his girlfriend eventually fled after Hughes sprayed mace at them.
But the security guards working at Crown Vic responded by telling Hughes she needed to "be careful," Hughes said. A manager later told Hughes it was clear she got punched because she was "annoying," Hughes added. "NO ONE deserves to be abused and the fact that three grown men watched a woman get punched in the face and refused to help her is reason for me to believe that they aren't looking out for you," Hughes wrote in a blog post that went viral.
The Crown Vic team and owner Richard Kelly eventually released a statement, saying that they fired the security staff and manager after reviewing footage and speaking with staff. "We would like to point out that two of our three managers and five of our six bartenders are female, and that this behavior is not representative of the actions of our staff as a whole."
But widespread word of the incident already sent dozens to Crown Vic's Facebook and Yelp pages, where people posted negative reviews warning women to not attend the bar. Kelly told Jezebel that people have also taken to leaving vulgar threats and abusive comments at the bar by phone, with as many as 20 calls a day. It's made female bartenders afraid to show up for work, Kelly said. "This campaign is working against the women that are working at Crown Victoria, and I would really ask people to think twice," he told Jezebel. "You know, that these actions might be counterproductive."
Kelly and Hughes talked it out, but Hughes still felt that her campaign against the bar was ultimately productive, according to a new blog post Hughes posted on Wednesday. Someone without her Twitter following could have ended up not getting anywhere, and the bar could still be employing the disrespectful security guards. "It's 2015, and we won't tolerate bullying abusive behavior from those hired to protect," Hughes wrote. "You'd better believe other bars in the area have taken notice, and are making changes. We shouldn't apologize or feel guilty for that."