Updated 

Hakkasan suspends promoter for whale, hippo comments


Hakkasan told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday that it had fired a club promoter who got nationally exposed for the MGM nightclub by saying Hakkasan doesn’t give free entry to bachelorette parties who are overweight “whales” and “hippos,” since “we don’t comp anything ugly.”

On Thursday afternoon, Hakkasan told the Review-Journal the promoter was not fired as the club had indicated earlier, but that he was suspended pending review.

To catch you up: A Southern California woman tried to get a free table for a bachelorette party by texting the club promoter. He texted back not-nice language about women, along with demands for photos. She sent screenshots of his texts to Jezebel.com, which called the promoter appropriate names. That Jezebel post went a little viral online.

In the text messages, the unidentified promoter asked the unidentified woman to send him photos and links to Instagram accounts of all 15 women in her group.

She said she didn’t have photos of everyone since she didn’t know all the women, and she said she doesn’t have an Instagram. (Which seemed to me like a lie to shake him off?)

But what made this text exchange viral-worthy was the male promoter’s language, which included these sentences women don’t want to hear:

- “We’re not gonna give comped tables … To random girls … Then the club will be filled with hippos … That’s not what Hakkasan is about … We don’t comp anything ugly … Other clubs yes, but not at the #1 nightclub in America! … Yes you will have a problem … Hot girls will send me pics with the snap of their fingers … Don’t explain yourself … You’re confused, I know. … So if you don’t know them, how do you know they’re not whales or hippos? … You’re from Massachusetts and that’s where I was from also … Girls don’t go to the gym over there … So it’s gonna be hard for 15 girls to be all 9-10s … Just saying … If you still wanna checks out Hakkasan. You can come in through our all girls walk in, IF the girls are scary looking … And you can ditch the whales once you get inside to get seated at a table.”

Jezebel also railed on the club’s apparent “mandate that men who want to reserve tables can do it sight unseen, but that tables of women must include group photos.”

But in Vegas clubs, generally speaking, men don’t send in photos, because they never get in free. Men spend hundreds and thousands of dollars per table. Women who get in free usually do so because of their looks. I’m not defending, I’m explaining.

And then once women are in a club here, club VIP hosts go around asking those women if they want to drink free drinks at the expensive tables that men have bought with their own money or with corporate credit cards. If the women say yes, the hosts escort those women to the men’s tables.

In other words, the social contract at Vegas clubs is this:

1. Men pay through the nose to see a DJ and/or to impress a woman with his free drinks.

2. Women get in free, drink for free, have the option of telling VIP hosts they don’t want free liquor but usually accept free liquor, and often leave clubs without having to pay a dime, although they have to put up with dudes grabbing them and saying super stupid stuff into their ears very loudly while grabbing their butts or running a hand up their legs. Therefore, women pay for the upfront costs of buying makeup, and uncomfortable stupid-looking shoes they think are cute but are not, and dresses showing their assets, and so on. And they pay with their souls and psyches, as they have to deal with club guys.

Caveat: When I go to clubs in Vegas, almost everyone looks like they’re having a great time, which means this system, as idiotic as it sounds in theory, mostly works in practice, except for what a therapist might have to say about all this, and except when a woman from Southern California who is accustomed to paying for nothing in a nightclub runs up against a promoter who is dumb enough to attack not-pefect-looking-women in a text, while explaining what he thinks the club wants.

Anyway, so that guy is fired. Hakkasan sent me this response:

“Hakkasan Group prides ourselves on providing our guests with an unmatched level of customer service. The statements made by this individual, who has since been terminated from the company, do not represent our corporate policy or our views. This type of attitude and communication is totally unacceptable, and while we cannot control every piece of communication between our thousands of staff and guests, we will not tolerate anything less than impeccable customer service,” said Nick McCabe, President of Hakkasan Group.

 

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