Red Door bar manager faces disciplinary action after domestic abuse joke

In his apology Josh Roberts said it was “Derby banter”

Josh Roberts, the manager of popular bar Red Door on Berry Street, posted a status making light of domestic abuse to advertising the bar on a status on Facebook. According to Living Venture, the parent company of Red Door, Roberts is to receive disciplinary action and counselling after posting the offensive status.

The status included an offensive image of a bruised woman captioned: “All I said was we missed Anichebe”. Roberts suggested that victims of domestic violence could get two for one cocktails on the night of the Liverpool derby, implying wives were more likely to be beaten by their husbands angered by football results.

It was up for around two hours and had over 60 likes and three shares before he took it down. Roberts original post said:

“Everton wives and girlfriends, Save those derby bruises, come and seek refuge in Red Door tonight. 2-4-1 on cocktails all night if your fellas a blue nose. He won’t be getting in in his 110’s anyway. #upthereds”

His post caused outrage, with many people pointing out that domestic abuse isn’t something to be joked about. People who complained to Red Door’s twitter account also said that instead of getting a response they were just blocked. Dr Katherine E Brown, who complained in the above tweet, was responded to by Twitter users telling her to “grow up” and that “only a feminist would say that [Robert’s post advocated violence]”.

Roberts, 27, wrote an apology on his Facebook saying it was “Derby banter” and that domestic abuse should not be joked about. He said:

“I didn’t want to do anything to hurt or offend anyone – I feel absolutely horrendous about the whole thing.”

Mr Roberts said he googled “Everton wives” and it was one of the first image results.

“It got loads of likes and shares and then I got messages asking to take it down and I did. It was not an advert at all for the Red Door. I’ve received so many messages from people who have been abused and it’s just been absolutely awful. It was so crass and stupid and I’m not that type of person. I had just put it up on my personal page and I wasn’t really thinking about it.”

A statement by Living Venture, the parent company of Red Door, said:

“Living Ventures have been made aware of the offensive social media post made by one of Red Door’s employees. We wish to state that such behaviour is considered abhorrent to the Living Ventures Group and to 3rd Place Ltd the owners of Red Door. We can confirm that the company will be taking appropriate disciplinary action with the the individual concerned. There can be no acceptable reason or excuse for such thoughtless and inappropriate behaviour.

“We believe that whilst the individual has acted independently and we are satisfied that this is an isolated incident and in no way reflects the attitude of any other member of the company or group, the individual’s actions do bring the company into disrepute and clearly this highlights a personal need for the individual to be educated in the dangerous potential for trivialisation of domestic violence in this way.

“Therefore we will ensure that in addition to any disciplinary action taken that he also receives appropriate personal counselling to ensure that he understands that there can be no acceptable use of this kind of material.”