In a lengthy statement posted to Instagram, True Kitchen and Kocktails owner Kevin Kelley has officially responded to the viral twerking controversy that’s currently dominating the conversation on social media.
In response to thousands of tweets, comments, and posts regarding the incident, True Kitchen and Kocktails’ Instagram account is now home to a 545-word statement addressing the twerking fiasco. In the statement, Kelley clarifies that the rant was inspired by the behavior of women sitting at three tables in the restaurant, one of whom was dancing up against the restaurant’s glass window. “A customer stood on her seat, placed her hands against the glass windows and began to twerk,” the statement reads. “My immediate reaction was this woman could fall through this window and we could be the target of a lawsuit if she is injured.”
Click through below to read the full statement:
For those who haven’t seen the video, it depicts Kelley yelling at a restaurant full of diners about what is and isn’t appropriate behavior in the restaurant, and telling those who don’t like it to leave. “All this twerking shit, don’t bring it here because we’re a restaurant,” he said. “If you wanna do it, get the fuck out my restaurant. Don’t do it again. I don’t want to hear it if you don’t like it, get out because I don’t need your money.”
The statement claims that Kelley has additional videos of the allegedly bad behavior, but that it was not posted because the restaurant “do[es] not want to embarrass the guests sitting at those tables.” It also notes that True Kitchen and Kocktails will “adjust [its] playlists and DJ selections” in the future, likely in reference to comments about the fact that Dallas rapper Lil Ronny Motha F’s song “Throw That Ass in a Circle” played in the background as the incident occurred.
Later, Kelley is pretty clear that twerking on the furniture is definitely not allowed at True Kitchen and Kocktails. “No guest has the right to come into our business ‘home’ and stand on our furniture because of any song played,” the statement reads. “As for twerking being a part of our culture, we do not welcome the part of the culture that will come into a restaurant, stand on furniture and twerk while using ‘culture’ as an excuse.”
The statement posted to Instagram comes not long after Kelley appeared on gossip site TMZ’s live webstream, where he doubled down on his position that twerking just isn’t appropriate in his restaurant. “Our restaurant is one where my mother eats at, my grandmother eats there, my sons work there, and we want to keep a good environment. That’s just not something I can have in my restaurant.
“We have so many classy and nice Black women who come in and that defines what True Kitchen and Kocktails is,” Kelley said on TMZ Live. “The actions of the women standing on the sofa pushing on the glass twerking, that is not that.”
Today, Twitter has been packed with debate over whether or not Kelley made the right call, including commentary from former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, former ESPN host and Atlantic writer Jemele Hill, and even iconic wrestler the Iron Sheik.