Wellington club goers and residents are reeling after a “disgusting” status was posted on Facebook by a Courtenay Place nightclub owner and DJ.
‘Famous’ owner Neill Andrews, a.k.a. DJ NDA, posted the following status on his personal Facebook page on December 30, 2013.
“Just because we don’t let groups of creepy Indian rapists into the club doesn’t make us racist, they also don’t buy alcohol. Probably so they can be sober enough to tie up the sack and lift the body into the back of their hybrid taxi, while wearing oversized leather jackets and sports shoes”, he wrote.
A Wellington man, who wishes to remain anonymous as he works in the same industry as Andrews, tweeted a screenshot of Andrews’ Facebook status. He told MASSIVE he has met Andrews before.
“I think he’s an idiot. I think it makes it bad that he’s speaking on behalf of a business saying that they won’t let a group of people in. It’s insanely illegal and racist,” he says.
“The thing that was concerning for me was that heaps of the comments on the post were overwhelmingly in support [of Andrews’ post].
“It was gross and not something you want to see. My Indian mates said that they see this quite a bit. It’s weird. I wouldn’t think New Zealand is racist, but apparently we are.”
New Zealand musician and former Trinity Roots band member Riki Gooch saw the screenshot of the status on Twitter. “I feel like Neill Andrews has not only let himself and his business down, but all of humanity,” he told MASSIVE yesterday.
A Wellington man of Indian heritage, who also does not want to be named, says the status was hardly surprising as Andrews has a reputation for being very outspoken and ignorant.
“I’m not going to lie, it was a little upsetting from the perspective of an Indian man in New Zealand,” he says.
“It does anger me especially considering Famous bar has an Indian DJ as a resident.
“I have no personal vendetta against Neill but for too long he has been able to run his mouth on social media and has had to account for nothing. He needs to learn there are consequences from what he says.”
Jayesh Ravla, another Wellington man of Indian heritage, says that the post was “disgusting”. “But it’s not the first time a Wellington club has had a no ethnic door policy,” he says, citing an incident he personally had in 2000.
Andrews has DJ’ed at notable events outside of Famous, including two former ANZ Christmas staff functions and for Martinborough based New Year’s festival La De Da.
ANZ and La De Da have since announced that they will not use Andrews for events in future.
“We have spoken to the company that organized the entertainment for our Christmas event and asked that Mr Andrews not be used at our events in future in light of his reported remarks on Facebook,” said ANZ spokesman Stefan Herrick.
La De Da issued a statement on their Facebook page saying that Andrews will not play at the festival again, calling his remarks “abhorrent” and “disgusting”.
“Had we known of his racist rants prior to the festival we would have cancelled his performance immediately and apologized for making a mistake in booking someone who has completely different morals and beliefs to those we have founded this positive event on”, says the comment.
Andrews says that his club is ‘multicultural’, and that his post was not necessarily racially motivated.
“There’s a large amount of Indian clientele coming in being particularly sleazy. It’s a specific type of person from that particular ethic group.”
He says his comments were specifically targeted at these people because they are becoming a nuisance to his business.
“It is quite specific to certain group of people. We don’t allow certain types of people in which is not specifically racial stereotyping, but a type of behaviour.
“We absolutely have had people of Indian ethnicity sexually assaulting people [inside the club], but not really from other ethnic groups,” he said.
Andrews says Famous needs to ensure the safety of its customers.
“Famous ensures this by their in-house policy, which is not what I’d share with the media,” he said.
“It was a post on my personal page and I stand behind it. I can let in whoever I want as long as it’s not based on race, which it isn’t, it’s based on a specific type of person.
“I have the freedom of speech to say whatever I want.”
The Facebook post has since been deleted due to a complaint from DJ Carl Cox’s management, Andrews says. Cox, a British DJ, is scheduled to perform at Famous on January 17.
According to Andrews, the complaint said that Cox would take offense to the post because he’s black.
Andrews claims that this is itself quite racist.
Cox’s management could not be immediately reached for comment.
Former posts on Andrews’ personal Facebook page also specifically refer to Indians.
“How do Noel Lemmings (sic) advertise for staff? “Wanted, greasy, creepy Indian men with zero knowledge of electronics for exciting retail career” I think the ones that don’t make it automatically get employed at Burger King.” – A personal Facebook status posted December 24, 2013 by Andrews.
Human Rights Commission spokesperson Vicki Hall says it is unlawful to discriminate against someone on the grounds of race and ethnicity when providing access to a public facility.
“Anyone who perceives they have been treated unfairly because of their ethnicity is encouraged to contact the Human Rights Commission,” she says.
According to the Human Rights Act 1993, prohibited grounds of discrimination include colour, race, and ethnic or national origins, which include nationality or citizenship. The Commission encourages individuals and communities to report offensive posts or material directly to the media organisation involved.
Things you can do it you view offensive material online:
- If you feel personally threatened by the comments, contact the Police.
- Report the material to the social media organisation involved (Facebook, YouTube etc) using the site’s own reporting system.
- If nothing happens through the site’s own process, contact your ISP.
- For further advice on reporting or challenging offensive online comment, see www.netsafe.org.nz.