Restaurant drops 'albino' beer after name deemed offensive
Published Saturday, February 16, 2013 11:49AM EST
Albino Rhino beer will no longer be served at a British Columbia restaurant chain after a human rights tribunal deemed the name offensive.
Earls Restaurant has been carrying its exclusive ‘Albino Rhino’ beer brand for 25 years, which was named after the rare white rhinoceros. But after April 24, the restaurant says the word ‘albino’ will be removed from all of its branding.
A Vancouver woman who was born with albinism brought the case to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, arguing that the branding was offensive -- and the tribunal agreed.
The B.C. – based restaurant issued a statement on Friday indicating that while it does not agree with the complaint, it will no longer use the word ‘albino’ as part of its marketing.
“It did not occur to us that the name would be associated with albinism, neither did it occur to us it would offend,” the restaurant said. “We do not believe the use of the word ‘albino’ reflects any intention to discriminate against persons with albinism. We have learned from participating in the human rights complaint process, however, that many persons with albinism are genuinely offended and feel that their dignity is negatively impacted by the use of the word ‘albino’ in our marketing.”
Albinism is rare condition caused by one of several genetic variations that makes the body unable to either produce or distribute melanin, the substance that gives colour to hair, skin and the iris of the eyes.