Hooters Wall Mural Sparks Online Controversy

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

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A wall painting in the men's bathroom of Hooters on Lazarská has been the subject of debate after a Facebook user posted it online.

The painting shows a black cleaning lady sitting on the floor with accompanying text in English and Czech. The original post by FaceBook user Fil Sys states: “I found this cartoon extremely offensive and, quite frankly, out of touch with a modern democratic state.”

At the time of writing it has received over 780 comments debating the image.

Some commenters agreed with the post. Andrea Baylis commented: “It might not be offensive to you and your personal history, but it is, in fact, offensive and racist to others.” Carlo L Tango commented: “I agree with you. It seems [sic] coming out from the last century but you might be wasting effort.”

Aren Ock commented: “This is quite clearly a racist cartoon. Anybody who doesn't see it is probably not seeing it because they aren't aware of the cultural context of racist cartoons.”

But others didn't accuse Fil Sys of being “hypersensitive”. Brano Kruzliak commented: “Honestly, I think you should pack your hypersensitivity and stop creating problems where there are none. This is merely a caricature.... If you want to address real problems, go protest the fascists and xenophobes marching in the streets". 

We spoke to Fil Sys about why he wanted to raise awareness of the mural. He said: “The words can be interpreted as derogatory, but the thing most decent people would take exception to is the cartoon of a black person in 1950s, "Black Sambo" style, with all the trimmings: big red lips etc… but it has been used and, sadly sometimes is still employed, to dehumanise black people.”

“I am not raising awareness because I am seeking attention. I wanted to raise awareness because, firstly, this is unacceptable in any society, but also patrons of Hooters deserve to know where their money is going - possibly maintaining such drawings. Is this something that customers support?” 

“When I contacted Hooters about this, they were curt and clearly did not understand the situation. This was the last option because, being Czech myself, I know that this is not and should not be standard practice in 21st century Czech Republic.”

Author: red


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