Feb 13, 2017

Toronto bar apologizes for 'disgusting' sign, blames rogue employee

Harassment, training
Management says employee will be fired, staff will undergo further training
By Paola Loriggio

TORONTO (CP) - A downtown Toronto bar issued a public apology Monday after displaying a sign that was denounced online as promoting sexual assault.

Photos began circulating on social media on Sunday of a sign inside the venue that included the words ``no means yes'' and also alluded to a sex act.

Management for the bar Locals Only then posted on Facebook that they were ``deeply saddened, shocked and appalled'' that an unsupervised staff member made the sign, which they described as ``disgusting, derogatory and insensitive towards a serious issue.''

``Most importantly, we extend our deepest apology to anyone who may have been affected or offended by this,'' said the statement, which was posted on several social media platforms.

``It is unfathomable and completely disheartening to think that we would ever have to be writing something like this, as we take extreme measures to ensure the safety of our patrons in our establishment at all times.''

In the statement, management also said the employee responsible for the sign would be fired and remaining staff would undergo further training on appropriate workplace practices.

But many online called for the bar to be shut down and questioned the sincerity of the apology.

The bar's management did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

The venue's website and its Instagram account were updated late Sunday with photos bearing the message ``No means no.''

The controversy comes roughly two months after the owner and an employee of another downtown Toronto bar were charged with forcible confinement and sexual assault, prompting calls for a boycott of that establishment.