A row has broken out between Hamilton star Giles Terera and a London blues bar, after he accused the venue of racial profiling.
According to Terera, Ain’t Nothin But blues bar in Soho stopped him and a group of black actors from entering while several white customers were allowed in without any questions.
The actor said he had planned to visit the bar on November 29 with the eight-strong cast of a play he is directing about American blues musicians, but had left feeling “devastated, confused and upset”.
Terera – who is best known for starring as Aaron Burr in the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical Hamilton – said he felt the group had been “racially profiled”, describing the events as a “disgrace”.
“That this happens anywhere is a disgrace, the fact that it happens at a venue which also exploits blues music is sick,” he said.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Ain’t Nothin But, on Kingly Street in Soho, refuted Terera’s claims and accused him of using “the ‘race’ card”.
It argued that no one from the group had been refused entry, but were not served inside the bar because some did not have ID.
“It is a shame they then have to try and use the ‘race’ card to intimidate the staff. Just because the next group happened to be white, they were a different age group so were served,” the bar said, adding: “We have regular customers, and staff, who are black. It makes no difference to us what colour people are.”
Terera’s initial Twitter thread prompted many others to step into the debate. David Lammy described Terera’s account of the bar’s actions as a “despicable” example of “everyday racism”, while the actor Layton Williams said: “Absolutely gross!! So sorry you had to experience this. Unfortunately I know exactly how it feels.”
Neither Terera and Ain’t Nothin But responded when contacted for further comment.