A downtown Toronto bar has issued a public apology after displaying a sign that was denounced online as promoting sexual assault.
Photos began circulating on social media on Sunday of a sign inside the venue at King and Portland streets that included the words “no means yes.”
Management for the bar Locals Only then posted on Facebook that they were “deeply saddened, shocked and appalled” that an unsupervised staff member made the sign, which they described as “disgusting, derogatory and insensitive towards a serious issue.”
In the statement, management said the employee would be fired and remaining staff would undergo further training on appropriate workplace practices.
They also said the bar takes “extreme measures” to ensure patrons’ safety.
But many online called for the bar to be shut down and questioned the sincerity of the apology, posting photos that allegedly showed the bar’s previous signs bearing similar messages.
Viktoria Belle, founder of Sexual Assault Action Coalition, told CityNews writing an apology on Facebook and deleting the “sexist pictures” doesn’t go far enough.
“We want Locals Only to commit to participating in our Dandelion training (anti-harassment and anti-violence training), to issue a public apology and show that the bar will have zero tolerance for comments that encourage and promote rape culture,” Belle said.
This is not the first time that a questionable sign has been posted at Locals Only. Below is a photo gallery of previous signs.
So far, the bar’s management has not responded to requests for comments.