I have had enough of iCandy and its owner Darryl DePiano. That’s no secret, of course. I am one of the loudest critics of this proprietor, only less vocal than the Black and Brown Workers Collective who have made a point that racist and exclusionary behavior and policies by Gayborhood businesses is not something that should ever be tolerated–mostly by storming the fucking business and scaring the crap out of its owner and then the city and then the mayor.
DePiano has been in the doghouse ever since this video surfaced of him referring to his black customers by the N word.
But will Darryl’s new video actually fix the mess he created? DePiano uploaded this video to Vimeo. Have a look:
My first reactions:
- Who the fuck sets movie trailer music into an apology video over the N word?
- DePiano’s lips aren’t moving through any of this. He’s reading from a script.
- Several times DePiano loses his place and hesitates. You see DePiano shuffling papers and some scenes of his empty bar.
- His phone rings towards the end of the video.
- Whoever put this together is shit at Final Cut Pro or it’s the first time they’ve used it.
You think you’re the only person confused by this shit? Ernest Owens at PhillyMag went into mental collapse. Watch:
The only acceptable absolution for Mr. DePiano is the same solution I said within 50 minutes of this episode exploding all over the Internet in the first place. Darryl DePiano needs to sell his bar. It is not like gay bars have ever been sold before, and it doesn’t mean it can’t continue to be a gay bar after DePiano is gone.
But really—I do not believe DePiano’s sincerity one bit. Nor do I have to. He has no power at all to convince me he’s still not a racist fuck. The only thing he has convinced me of is that he is scared of losing his business because his reputation has been ruined internationally. iCandy is the default drag queen bar that all drag performers wind up at–a tradition that’s held over several incarnations of the bar. Every drag queen that’s agreed to book performances at iCandy knows the situation, all the way up to RuPaul.
The City of Philadelphia failed to use its influence to mediate the situation and then it exacerbated the problem and looked almost as tone deaf as DePiano when it opted to send all gay bar owners over to corporate sensitivity training, which is a very white and anodyne response reminiscent of 1980s corporate training for serial sexual harassers. When it dawned on everyone how stupid and immature it looked, the city’s LGBT commission thew a couple extra colors on the City’s rainbow flag as a token. There were a lot more tools in the toolbox the City had at its disposal for dealing with DePiano in a way that would have forced a much more sincere contrition or, better still, triggered his exit.
The LGBT flag change gesture was well-received and kept criticism from falling back on to Mayor Kenney. Although some other politicians haven’t escaped criticism from the iCandy debaucle, notably State Rep. Brian Sims who represents the area iCandy is in and who has made frequent appearances at the establishment. Sims, who normally keeps a very visible and high profile elected to stay silent short of a small Facebook post after the video of DePiano’s transgression leaked out.
One year later my sentiment about the iCandy affair has not wavered. Darryl DePiano you really need to find a new owner for your bar. Pack it up and retire, or open up something in Atlantic City an start fresh somewhere else. You have simply caused too much damage here.
Don’t let it get to the point where we hear about you in the obituary section and that video pops up again. You care something about the legacy you’ll leave behind, right?