By Scott T. Sterling
Atlanta native T.I. is spearheading a boycott of local restaurant Houston’s after accusations of racial discrimination.
According to Blavity, the boycott kicked off on Saturday (Oct. 7) after actress Ernestine Johnson were denied seating at the popular eatery for having too large of a party. When the restaurant allegedly still refused to seat them after the party offered to split into two groups, the actress spread the news on social media, inspiring the boycott.
T.I. spread the word about the protest, leading people to meet up outside of the Houston’s on Saturday afternoon.
“We have closed the Houston’s down for the moment, indefinitely,” T.I said in a video posted to Instagram showing a group of protestors chanting in front of the restaurant. “When they figure out how to treat us, they can open back up.”
Fellow Houston rapper Killer Mike joined in the boycott, sharing an Instagram post supporting T.I. and the protestors.
“Houston’s is a restaurant that is supported by the black dollar in Atlanta and supported by the entertainment dollar especially,” Mike explained in the clip. “I just call on entertainers and other members of Atlanta who are for justice and right — black or white — and black Atlanta in particular. Not only boycott Houston’s but find a black restaurant to support or one that treats your community well.”
Houston’s has released a statement denying any discrimination towards black patrons.
“We have employed a diverse, hard-working staff serving Atlanta’s similarly diverse clientele for many years,” the restaurant said. “Charges of discrimination are not only unfounded but are an intentional manipulation using social media. Our policies and guidelines apply equally to everyone.”