Detroit bar crawl organizers respond to criticism over offensive 'Mexican' photo

Screenshot of Bar Crawl Live Facebook page

The organizers of a "Tacos N' Tequila Crawl" planned for May 4 in Greektown have responded to criticism of their marketing material.

As Metro Times reported on Thursday, Bar Crawl Live's Facebook and Twitter photos used to promote the event showed white women dressed up "Mexican" stereotypes with finger mustaches and sombreros.

That ignited a social media backlash that included criticism from Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Detroit City Councilmember Raquel Castaneda-Lopez.

Bar Crawl Live apologized on social media on Wednesday, and said it would take down the offensive material. On Thursday evening, it provided a statement to Metro Times:

It came as a shock to us when we received multiple words of hate on our Twitter and Facebook pages (@BarCrawlLive). Including, people automatically assuming/claiming that we are those negative words without even knowing who we are as individuals. We are multicultural event organizers, who run multiple themed bar crawls with the purpose to bring fun for all. In no way, shape or form was it our intent to offend and/or target one culture with our marketing material. We are taking action to change the image(s), even though we don’t assume someone’s ethnic background based off of their appearances. We believe we speak for all, when stating that it is wrong to judge a book by its cover.

We as a group decided to block those using hateful speech and their influence to have others write harmful messages. After gathering information by making a public announcement we then unblocked those individuals.

We chose to ask for everyone’s feedback through this public post about our first annual Tacos N’ Tequila Crawl. We have been gathering information to make all necessary changes at once due to Facebook limiting the number of edits allowed on an event page, due to the size of the event.

We are very grateful for the results from this feedback process. One of the many things we have come to learn, is that Detroit, MI has a Mexicantown. You will have to excuse our ignorance because until now we did not know such a great area existed. We are now highly considering having our Event Coordinators reach out to get the venue’s of that area involved.

We organize events in many cities and this is the first that we have come across a Mexicantown. It has come as a surprise that there are so few of these areas in the US. Although this unfortunate situation arose, we truly hope that it creates awareness on bringing more areas like this across the nation.

Our purpose is simple. Bringing family and friends of all backgrounds across the nation together, supporting local businesses and creating fun/lasting memories for all to share.

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