News | Students call for Tequila to shut after rape promo

Popular Leeds student club night Tequila has been blasted for releasing a promotional video condoning rape and sexual violence. At the time of going to print 1,400 people had signed an LS petition calling for Mezz to stop hosting Tequila.

The petition followed an outpouring of support on social media for this paper’s exposure of the video and received national recognition from media outlets and celebrities.

The video publicising Tequila’s night ‘Freshers Violation’ included footage of male club goers describing how they would “violate” Freshers, with one interviewee describing how a girl was “going to get raped.”

Another boasted he would “fist them in the arse”.

The video was removed from Tequila UK’s YouTube account following pressure from this paper among others.

LS spoke to the manager of Tequila venue Mezz, who stated the club’s official standpoint that the video was “deplorable” and said that the venue “don’t agree whatsoever” with the content.

Yesterday Tequila backed down over the video, issuing a statement saying the video was “deplorable and completely despicable”, adding “until now, we have entrusted editing rights to the videographer after the event.”

According to Tequila’s statement the company is now reviewing all of its marketing policies.

LS was also contacted by Tequila’s PR company demanding an alteration to its online article.

The future of the club night now hangs in the balance. LS understands that Tequila is currently being investigated by the City Centre Licensing Department, after the promotional video was flagged by police as not being in-keeping with codes of conduct. The West Yorkshire Police said: “licensing officers have been made aware and will be speaking to the promoters and the venue’s management.”

Headingley Councillor Neil Walshaw told LS: “I along with other Councillors and Hilary Benn MP will be campaigning against the spread of ‘rape culture’ and ‘rape banter’. I warn promoters, businesses and venues to stay away from this kind of marketing as it must surely call the licences of the bars and clubs using it into question”.

Mezz declined to comment on whether they would be dropping Tequila from their schedule. Union Affairs Officer Bradley Escorcio said “Tequila’s promotional video and the content of their night conflict with LUU’s zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment. We therefore endorse the petition as a means for clubs across Leeds to become safer spaces for our students.”

Meanwhile, University of Leeds alumni Georgia Rose Greenfield has started a petition asking Tequila to donate their profits to victims of sexual assault.  She told LS: “I think it’s vital that they see the consequences of promoting rape culture”.

Sean Hayes

Rosanna Pound-Woods

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