A Boston nightclub has agreed to pay a fine, issue a public apology and have its staff attend anti-discrimination training for closing the club when a significant number of black attendees showed up, according to an agreement reached with Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
The agreement was based on a complaint made by a group of black Harvard graduates who had organized an event at Cure Lounge as an after-party to the Harvard and Yale football game last November.
Approximately 400 tickets were purchased before the sold-out event. But about an hour after the 10 p.m. starting time, Cure Lounge abruptly ended the event and told all guests that they needed to leave. The vast majority of event guests who stood in line and who entered the club were black, according to the complaint.
Under the agreement, which states Cure Lounge violated state laws prohibiting public places from restricting entry or limiting use based on race, gender, or national origin, the nightclub must pay a $30,000 fine to the state.
According to Coakley’s office, the majority of $30,000 will be distributed to entities that assist black students seeking higher education opportunities.
Massachusetts businesses cannot refuse to host events because of racial reasons, Coakley said in a statement.
Coakley added, in this case, club waitstaff made harmful and ill-conceived conclusions based on the simple fact that mot of the guests were black. This type of behavior is the essence of racial stereotyping and it is a reminder that, despite the many strides we have taken, there is still progress to be made.