Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Le Bilboquet Manager Apologizes to Atlanta Hawks Legend Dominique Wilkins After Racism Controversy

EURweb.com
via Twitter

*Atlanta Hawks vice president and former NBAer Dominique Wilkins says he was turned away from a popular Buckhead restaurant due to racism.

It happened at Le Bilboquet, a French bistro in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.

“In my many years in the world, I’ve eaten at some of the greatest restaurants in the world, but never have I felt prejudice or been turned away because of the color of my skin, until today,” he wrote on Twitter.

Wilkins said staff at Le Bilboquet refused him service over his designer casual clothing. 

“Discrimination has many different disguises, you know. In this case, it’s disguised through a dress code,” Wilkins said. “I’m just hoping that they learn from this and that they could get some diversity equality and this type of training to guard against this.”

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I’m sure this is not the first time Blacks have been turned away from the eatery for petty reasons. But because a celebrity is bringing the heat, the restaurant was quick to apologize to Wilkins.

“We sincerely apologize to Dominique Wilkins for the events that occurred on May 22,” the restaurant said in a statement. “No patron of our restaurants should be made to feel unwelcome or less than, and for that we are deeply sorry. It was never our intention to make Mr. Wilkins – or anyone else for that matter – feel that way at our restaurant.”

Management says staffers will be re-trained and changes will be made to the dress code policy.

Here is the restaurant’s full statement:

“We sincerely apologize to Dominique Wilkins for the events that occurred on May 22. No patron of our restaurants should be made to feel unwelcome or less than, and for that we are deeply sorry. It was never our intention to make Mr. Wilkins – or anyone else for that matter – feel that way at our restaurant.

“As an upscale, white table cloth, fine dining restaurant, we have a dress code in place to provide an experience that meets both our brand standards and our clientele’s expectations. While we will continue to have a dress code, we realize our current policy is subject to interpretation and can be unintentionally demeaning and divisive.

“Accordingly, we are immediately making changes.

“First, we will provide diversity, equity and inclusion training to all current employees and require it as part of our employee onboarding process moving forward.

“Second, we are reevaluating our dress code and eliminating any ambiguities that may lead to misunderstandings.

“Third, we are establishing more rigid protocols to ensure all policies, including our dress code, are consistently and equitably enforced by staff. This will include providing staff with communication training to make certain all messages to guests are clearly conveyed and appropriately delivered.

“We will not tolerate implicit or explicit bias. We have done and will continue do the work to ensure our restaurant is a place where all feel welcome.

“Again, we apologize to Mr. Wilkins and hope these changes will be met with an eye toward progress.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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