MEATLiquor bar restaurant in York Place Brighton removes "offensive" pictures after being accused of trivialising sexual assault

The Argus: The offensive slogan on the decorations has now been removed The offensive slogan on the decorations has now been removed

A poster at a Brighton restaurant that appeared to make light of rape has been condemned as offensive.

Artwork at the MEATLiquor bar and restaurant in York Place, Brighton, outraged customers and victims’ charities who said it trivialised sexual assault.

MeatLiquor said the slogan, which The Argus has decided not to reproduce, was intended to be “playful and cheeky”.

The restaurant has now removed the poster and made a donation to Brighton rape charity Survivors’ Network by way of apology.

Fabia Bates, director of domestic abuse charity Survivors’ Network, said: “It is horrifying that in 2014 MEATLiquor find it acceptable to use references to rape in their decoration.

“Their justification that the image was part of a spoof campaign and was meant to be playful is even more concerning.

“Rape is wrong, unlawful and causes unimaginable distress to more than 85,000 women and 9,000 men in the UK every year.

“It is not a topic to be joked about or taken lightly.

“This kind of message serves only to validate the unacceptable level of tolerance and misunderstanding about rape in our society.”

Katie Russell from charity Rape Crisis added: “The combination of imagery and slogan on this poster is clearly intended to make reference to very serious sexual violence against women.

“It is sexist, offensive, and potentially deeply distressing for the large numbers of survivors of sexual violence who will inevitably see a poster displayed in a public place.

“It's extremely ill-considered and irresponsible for a business to attempt to trivialise sexual violence in this way.”

A spokeswoman for MEATLiquor said: “The decor is designed to be playful and cheeky, and while we regret any offence that has been taken in this case, we wish to make clear that at no time have we intended to condone or trivialise such serious matters.

“This is the first occasion we are aware of in which a diner has considered our décor in our ‘peek a boo room’ to have transgressed what they consider to be acceptable, and we are sorry that this is the case.

“We have taken immediate action to redact the material in question.”

She said she could not comment on how the decorations had appeared in the first place.

Victims of sexual violence in need of support can contact the Survivors Network helpline on Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7pm to 9pm on 01273 720110.

Comments (12)

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5:40am Mon 17 Feb 14

rogerthefish says...

Best hidden secret trendy food house in town, but not for old folk unless you've removed your hearing aids , this is just newspapers making up a headline clearly they removed it - but I wouldn't think the owners even inspect the artwork of a third partie artist as the place is covered from floor to ceiling with great psychedelic pieces, next thing they will be complaining about the dead hippy burger being disrectful to "dead hippies"-bring on the Richard the third hotdogs!
Best hidden secret trendy food house in town, but not for old folk unless you've removed your hearing aids , this is just newspapers making up a headline clearly they removed it - but I wouldn't think the owners even inspect the artwork of a third partie artist as the place is covered from floor to ceiling with great psychedelic pieces, next thing they will be complaining about the dead hippy burger being disrectful to "dead hippies"-bring on the Richard the third hotdogs! rogerthefish

10:49am Mon 17 Feb 14

spa301 says...

Read the article hoping to be suitably outraged but unfortunately failed.
Read the article hoping to be suitably outraged but unfortunately failed. spa301

10:55am Mon 17 Feb 14

ants4t says...

"With my sausage in your mouth, no one can hear you scream". Was it really poking fun of rape? or did the person who complained read into something and took offense, they most probably complain when they go to the fair and hear "scream if you want to go faster". I am guessing the art work was implying their sausage is good and will want to make you scream with pleasure, but you cant be heard with a mouth full of food. Why would a food eatery imply having their food in your mouth will be a horrible experience?
"With my sausage in your mouth, no one can hear you scream". Was it really poking fun of rape? or did the person who complained read into something and took offense, they most probably complain when they go to the fair and hear "scream if you want to go faster". I am guessing the art work was implying their sausage is good and will want to make you scream with pleasure, but you cant be heard with a mouth full of food. Why would a food eatery imply having their food in your mouth will be a horrible experience? ants4t

12:00pm Mon 17 Feb 14

jnicho02 says...

I'm not very PC and I find it offensive. It's a risque joke in a trendy restaurant, but it doesn't make it acceptable.
I'm not very PC and I find it offensive. It's a risque joke in a trendy restaurant, but it doesn't make it acceptable. jnicho02

12:41pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Valerie Paynter says...

They sent out tweets saying "With my sausage in your mouth nobody can hear you scream" and used it for the twitter accoun profile descriptive.

They got a PILE of complaining tweets back from younger men. Kudos for that and it is just plain depressing that they think they are cool using a double entendre of this kind to big themselves up. I hate to think what kind of people trough at their eatery.
They sent out tweets saying "With my sausage in your mouth nobody can hear you scream" and used it for the twitter accoun profile descriptive. They got a PILE of complaining tweets back from younger men. Kudos for that and it is just plain depressing that they think they are cool using a double entendre of this kind to big themselves up. I hate to think what kind of people trough at their eatery. Valerie Paynter

4:33pm Mon 17 Feb 14

bluemonday says...

ants4t wrote:
"With my sausage in your mouth, no one can hear you scream". Was it really poking fun of rape? or did the person who complained read into something and took offense, they most probably complain when they go to the fair and hear "scream if you want to go faster". I am guessing the art work was implying their sausage is good and will want to make you scream with pleasure, but you cant be heard with a mouth full of food. Why would a food eatery imply having their food in your mouth will be a horrible experience?
is that all it said,blimey we do live in an easily upset world,wait til they see the title of the play at the nightingale "tis a shame she is a whore" somebody is going to have a coronary when they spot that one.
[quote][p][bold]ants4t[/bold] wrote: "With my sausage in your mouth, no one can hear you scream". Was it really poking fun of rape? or did the person who complained read into something and took offense, they most probably complain when they go to the fair and hear "scream if you want to go faster". I am guessing the art work was implying their sausage is good and will want to make you scream with pleasure, but you cant be heard with a mouth full of food. Why would a food eatery imply having their food in your mouth will be a horrible experience?[/p][/quote]is that all it said,blimey we do live in an easily upset world,wait til they see the title of the play at the nightingale "tis a shame she is a whore" somebody is going to have a coronary when they spot that one. bluemonday

6:19pm Mon 17 Feb 14

imfree! says...

Mouthful of sausage? Lol Oh how very Brighton
Mouthful of sausage? Lol Oh how very Brighton imfree!

8:22am Tue 18 Feb 14

Juleyanne says...

Perhaps if the owner of this business had a wife, daughter or sister who had been violently raped, it might dawn on the idiot that this 'so called' bit of cheap humour was actually extremely poor judgement and highly insensitive and inappropriate to say the least! It simply highlights extreme ignorance.
Perhaps if the owner of this business had a wife, daughter or sister who had been violently raped, it might dawn on the idiot that this 'so called' bit of cheap humour was actually extremely poor judgement and highly insensitive and inappropriate to say the least! It simply highlights extreme ignorance. Juleyanne

2:54pm Tue 18 Feb 14

NicoUnderground says...

Interesting that the article reports the ML spokeswoman "couldn't comment" on how the offending item came to be.

In other communications this was relayed - the images was taken from "the sign that was hanging in our Covent Garden restaurant, amid 40 or so other spoof signs. An image of this was then jumbled in with many others to form a collage on the wall in the one booth of our Brighton site. One of us should have noticed that it had overplayed an image of a woman and it's that on a personal (and not to mention professional ) level that I am kicking myself about."

It was an error of judgement and one that was swiftly rectified.
Interesting that the article reports the ML spokeswoman "couldn't comment" on how the offending item came to be. In other communications this was relayed - the images was taken from "the sign that was hanging in our Covent Garden restaurant, amid 40 or so other spoof signs. An image of this was then jumbled in with many others to form a collage on the wall in the one booth of our Brighton site. One of us should have noticed that it had overplayed an image of a woman and it's that on a personal (and not to mention professional ) level that I am kicking myself about." It was an error of judgement and one that was swiftly rectified. NicoUnderground

3:53pm Tue 18 Feb 14

dickpagebrighton says...

rogerthefish wrote:
Best hidden secret trendy food house in town, but not for old folk unless you've removed your hearing aids , this is just newspapers making up a headline clearly they removed it - but I wouldn't think the owners even inspect the artwork of a third partie artist as the place is covered from floor to ceiling with great psychedelic pieces, next thing they will be complaining about the dead hippy burger being disrectful to "dead hippies"-bring on the Richard the third hotdogs!
Men like this "roger" should be consigned to the dark ages. If women (and men) find this sort of implied violence offensive - as I know a lot do from online discussions I've seen about this one - then we should accept that it can never be "a joke". He also manages to stereotype older people as all hard of hearing, then appears to condone cannibalism ...
Men like ants and bluemonday are also nasty and insensitive, trying to explain away the offensive message, or suggesting people should calm down - when they have every right to be angry !
[quote][p][bold]rogerthefish[/bold] wrote: Best hidden secret trendy food house in town, but not for old folk unless you've removed your hearing aids , this is just newspapers making up a headline clearly they removed it - but I wouldn't think the owners even inspect the artwork of a third partie artist as the place is covered from floor to ceiling with great psychedelic pieces, next thing they will be complaining about the dead hippy burger being disrectful to "dead hippies"-bring on the Richard the third hotdogs![/p][/quote]Men like this "roger" should be consigned to the dark ages. If women (and men) find this sort of implied violence offensive - as I know a lot do from online discussions I've seen about this one - then we should accept that it can never be "a joke". He also manages to stereotype older people as all hard of hearing, then appears to condone cannibalism ... Men like ants and bluemonday are also nasty and insensitive, trying to explain away the offensive message, or suggesting people should calm down - when they have every right to be angry ! dickpagebrighton

7:29am Wed 19 Feb 14

willy harris says...

sounds like CHEAP advertising to me,dont bother with the place,its food SHOULD be a better advert on its own,
sounds like CHEAP advertising to me,dont bother with the place,its food SHOULD be a better advert on its own, willy harris

3:31pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Stoney33 says...

jnicho02 wrote:
I'm not very PC and I find it offensive. It's a risque joke in a trendy restaurant, but it doesn't make it acceptable.
its talking about sausages

If people choose to read it as something else, then whos fault is that? Ok, it probably is supposed to have a double meaning, but i think claiming the company is ,making fun of rape is a bit extreme
[quote][p][bold]jnicho02[/bold] wrote: I'm not very PC and I find it offensive. It's a risque joke in a trendy restaurant, but it doesn't make it acceptable.[/p][/quote]its talking about sausages If people choose to read it as something else, then whos fault is that? Ok, it probably is supposed to have a double meaning, but i think claiming the company is ,making fun of rape is a bit extreme Stoney33

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