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DSTRKT nightclub breaks silence: 'The club was full'

FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO PARTY: The young women from north London who are taking on DSTRKT. Zalika Miller (far left) with friends Reisha and Tasha

THE WEST End nightclub embroiled in a race row after black partygoers claim they were rejected for being “too dark” and “too fat” say they were turned away because the club had reaced full capacity.

Responding to The Voice’s request for comment five days after Saturday’s (Sept 26) incident, management of the high-end venue stressed the club is operated on an “anti-racist” door policy.

The story, first reported by The Voice, galvanised worldwide attention and sparked the hashtag #DoILookDstrkt, challenging the criteria standard to enter the high end venue and prompted other black women to come forward with their own stories of discriminatory treatment at the hands of door staff.

Read the background to the story here.

“The women who have made the complaint against the venue arrived without having made any prior reservation with the venue,” the statement started. “All our tables were fully booked and we had a full general admission guest list and on that basis alone they were not granted entry.

“DSTRKT restaurant and late night lounge has always operated an anti-racist door policy. It condemns any type of racism or discrimination by customer or staff.

The statement also stressed that rejected clubgoers Zalika Miller and Lin Mei, both in their 20s, attended the bar in the past - claims that the pair made no secret of when sharing their story with The Voice.

Mei said she had always attended the venue with mainly her white friends and bi-racial friends in the past.

Both women, who led a peaceful protest outside the club on Tuesday night (Sept 29) when Karrueche Tran, the model ex-girlfriend of R&B star Chris Brown, made a scheduled appearance, have said that they were welcomed in under the expectation that they would abandon the other two members of their party who were deemed “overweight” and “too dark”.

Despite the well-publicised exchange of messages between Mei and a DSTRKT club promoter, the venue has attempted to distance itself by insisting the promoter did not work for the club and was merely a third party.

“DSTRKT restaurant and club has launched a thorough investigation into this alleged event and found that at no stage did any of the DSTRKT staff said to the women they were not to be allowed in on any the basis of their skin colour or size. Comments made by an external promoter to the women had nothing to do with DSTRKT.”

A second promoter, known as Brooke Norton, who also claimed the club operated on discriminatory policies, was also dismissed as a “third party employee”.

Norton - who is white - took to social media soon after the story was made public to share her experience working at the club when she invited her black friends.

In a series of videos on Instagram she claimed a senior member of staff told her that she shouldn’t invite “too many black girls” next time.

Norton said: “I promote in DSTRKT, on Friday when I was working at DSTRKT I actually took my personal friends and put them on my table. There [were] two white girls in the queue in front of us and they got in for free but they made my black friends pay to get in

“When I finished work on Friday at DSTRKT, I was told not to bring so many black girls on my table next time and I should only really have light skin girls, Indian girls or white girls. That to me is f***ing discrimination.”

She added: “I won’t be promoting there [any] more that’s for sure, they took money out of my pay for that night cause they didn’t count one of my black friend as a guest. So, so bad.”

The incident has also served as a catalyst for more people to come forward and share their similar stories of doorstep discrimination at DSTRKT.

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