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Virat Kohli-owned restaurant chain accused of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ community; apologises

Virat Kohli-owned restaurant chain accused of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ community; apologises

Soon after this account became viral on social media, users called Kohli out and said that there should be no tolerance for such discrimination in today’s India

One8 Commune is a chain of restaurants owned by cricketer Virat Kohli One8 Commune is a chain of restaurants owned by cricketer Virat Kohli

One8 Commune, a chain of restaurants owned by cricketer Virat Kohli, has been accused of discrimination against members of the LGBTQIA+ community, at one of their restaurants in Pune.

LGBTQIA+ rights advocacy group Yes, We Exist India shared the incident in an Instagram post. “Virat Kohli runs a chain of restaurants, called One8 Commune, across Pune, Delhi and Kolkata. Their Zomato listings say, “Stags are not allowed.” We DM’ed them 2 weeks ago, got no response. We called the Pune branch, they confirmed that entry is allowed only for cisgender heterosexual couples or groups of cisgender women; gay couples or group of gay men not allowed; trans women are allowed subject to their clothing (sic). Delhi branch did not answer. Kolkata said stags are allowed, although their Zomato booking says otherwise. Discrimination against LGBTQIA+ guests is common at such fancy restaurants, bars and clubs in India and Virat Kohli is no exception.”

The group also urged Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal to either sensitise the restaurant staff about the LGBTQIA+ community or to stop providing the Zomato platform to businesses that practice such blatant discrimination. It further underscored that high-end restaurants often practice this discrimination and these are the exact places where Zomato gets its ad revenue from.

Soon after this account became viral on social media, users called Kohli out and said that there should be no tolerance for such discrimination in today’s India. “Quite shameful how Virat Kohli’s restaurants have been discriminating against LGBTQ+. Truly appalling that Deepinder Goyal allows such blatant bigotry to deliver food on Zomato. There must be no room for this nonsense,” said user Abhijit Iyer Mitra.

After social media users expressed their angst on this incident, the restaurant chain issued an apology stating that they believe in welcoming all people regardless of their gender and/or preferences with utmost respect and honour. “As our name denotes, we have always been inclusive in serving all communities since our inception. Similar to industry wide practice and in conformity with government rules, we obviously have a prohibition of stag entry policy (subject to necessary relaxation) in place so as to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for our guests,” the statement read.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by one8 Commune (@one8.commune)

 

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Published on: Nov 16, 2021, 10:07 AM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Nov 16, 2021, 10:01 AM IST