Bouncers turned 22yr.old Jesse Wright away from The Rockpool Bar, because of concerns about his facial inking - they thought he might have gang affiliations.
|Wanna take THIS out for a drink?|
Wright: "I find it highly offensive. None of my tattoos are gang-affiliated whatsoever – they all have high meaning to me." He wants the bar to change its policy: "I'm not the only one with face tattoos and if we want to go out, why should we be turned down because of what we look like? It's really insulting and it's hurt me deep down." [Oh, precious pup! Just choose a drinking hole with much much much lower standards then!]
Rockpool owner Peter Whittaker says people with visible facial or neck tattoos are not welcome: "Not everyone is automatically excluded but we don't want that profile of person."
Hear! Hear! A straw poll by stuff.co.nz shows 2/3 of respondents feel it's ok for bars to refuse entry because of facial tattoos. My readers may recall a similar incident involving an inked-up tattoo artist being bar-banned back in 2009. Also last weekend Vinnie Paul, co-founder of US heavy metal band Pantera, was denied entry to The Rockpool because he would not comply with the dress code.
The Tat Pack needs to understand that the majority feel threatened or repulsed by someone sporting facial ink and/or multiple piercings (often rough and home-created). That type of adornment may look great to the wearers but, to mainstream society, they've just made themselves outcasts!
And there is a COST. Anyone has the right to mutilate themselves, but must be aware that the price to be paid is often social ostracism. This is not Facial Discrimination. This is conforming to societal standards. Welcome to reality.
UPDATE: - Human Rights Commission says don't waste our time.