Unit 1 has apologised for offence caused during its Halloween DSP party – which saw one bartender “blacking up” for the evening.
A white bar manager wore an afro wig and darkened his face for his shift on the club’s Halloween special version ‘Return of the Killer Clowns’ for DSP Monday, as shown in a photo posted by Unit 1 on their Facebook album.
The costume seems to have been based on Sanka, a Jamacian character from the 1993 film Cool Runnings. Shortly after Exeposé contacted Unit 1 for a statement in response, the photo was removed from Facebook.
A spokesman for Unit 1 told Exeposé: “Although no offence was intended, this was clearly a lapse of judgement for which we apologise unreservedly. We have removed the photo from our social media and will be working with our staff to ensure that nothing like this happens again. We would like to apologise for any offence caused.”
The Facebook page ‘Spotted: Racism at Exeter University’ later shared the photo with the caption:
“I’m sick of seeing open and joyous racism. I’m sick of the amnesia around racism, when this is a conversation that we seem to have every Freshers’ Week, every Halloween. I’m sick of the conversation falling on deaf ears.”
This post had a mixed reception, with one student commenting: “I don’t condone blacking up or racial stereotypes of any sort… but surely this is the bloke from Cool Runnings? This isn’t meant to offend anybody. But why is it racist to dress up as a movie character?” Another said “Unit 1 has such a horrific history of bad bouncers and racist management.”
Further controversy from the night arose as two students were spotted dressed as The Royal Clarence hotel and a firefighter in the same album. Express & Echo’s online report on this topical costume choice has simultaneously caused both offense and praise.
“Clearly respect is a thing of the past in the delinquent generation,” one recent Exeter graduate commented. “And I only graduated from Exeter university a year ago so unfortunately it’s my generation!”.
Other local residents have commended the students’ humour, commenting “Genius! Born and bred in Exeter and feel desperately sad about the fire but an awesome idea for a Halloween costume!”, and that the costume “was a tribute to such a marvellous hotel.”
The original photo featuring The Royal Clarence duo has also since been removed from Facebook.