A Black general manager of a ritzy New York City night club has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the establishment that hosts A-list celebrity clientele.
On Wednesday, Christopher Hibbert, who was the first Black GM at 1OAK club in Chelsea, complained in a filing in Manhattan Supreme Court that he endured a racist culture that included a promoter cursing him out at length and “physically menaced him and repeatedly called him a ‘f—ing n—-r.’”
Hibbert also said the club retaliated against him which resulted in his eventual firing, The NY Daily News reports.
Hibbert says he complained to upper management about his mistreatment and racist practices which included “the disparate treatment by 1OAK’s door and hostess staff of black and Hispanic patrons, who are often charged up to five times as much as white patrons and seated in a separate section of the club with other persons of color.”
Hibbert said while he was retaliated against the club promoter who harassed him got “nothing more than sensitivity training and [defendants then] began a campaign of retaliation against Hibbert, issuing him baseless disciplinary warnings and ultimately firing him,” the suit alleges.
Richie Akiva, the owner of the swanky club responded to Hibbert’s claims on Wednesday in a statement.
“At 1 OAK, we pride ourselves on welcoming those of all legal age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and national identity as both guests and employees.”
“Hopefully this case will shine a light on discrimination faced by persons of color in upscale Manhattan clubs,” Hibbert’s lawyer, Louis Pechman, told the Daily News.