Updated: Kilroy's Recess continues to draw online criticism for tweet


Update 7:24 p.m. Monday: In a letter to the editor sent to the IDS, Provost Lauren Robel said her concerns about Kilroy's Recess opening were reaffirmed by the tweet which she described as "gross" and "insensitive." Robel urged students to take advantage of other opportunities at IU like the cinema, performances and clubs. 

"I encourage students to find a home in these activities and to avoid places that make disrespect for women and for the safety of our community a part of their marketing plans," Robel said. 

Update 1:13 p.m. Sunday: Kilroy's Recess has removed the ability to leave a review on its Facebook page, and the 1.1 star average rating has disappeared. Its Twitter is now set to protected mode.  

Update 12:17 a.m. Sunday: After seemingly being deleted, the Kilroy's Recess Facebook page is online. The average rating out of 30 reviews is 1.1 stars.

Update 12:03 a.m. Sunday: Nicole Freeman, director of marketing for Kilroy's, has issued an apology on the Recess Twitter account.

Update 10:03 p.m.: Kilroy's Recess has deleted its Facebook page. 

A spokesperson for Switchyard Brewing, a Bloomington brewery opening in January 2018, said in a Twitter video statement that the business will not distribute beer to any Kilroy's location because of Recess' tweet.

When Mark Cuban was a student at IU almost 40 years ago, the building that now holds Kilroy's Recess was home to Cuban's own bar, Motley's Pub. 

Cuban ventured back to Bloomington on Friday night, posting an Instagram video from Nick's English Hut. Recess hoped to bring him back into 430 E. Kirkwood Ave., so they invited him in a tweet.

“We got rid of the wet t-shirt contests, but kept the underage girls [sic],” part of the tweet said.

As the tweet implied, Motley's closed down in 1981, after less than a year of business, because it allowed underage patrons and wet T-shirt contests, according to the Dallas Morning News

The tweet has since been deleted, but screenshots continue to circulate Twitter and other social media. 

The College Democrats at IU used a screenshot to create a response tweet of their own. 

“Bloomington is better than this,” the tweet said. “If we, as a community, want to tackle rape culture in any capacity, comments like this can’t be tolerated."

Terry Tossman, president of College Democrats at IU, said the group plans to release a formal statement Sunday morning. He also said hopes to work with other student groups and the IU administration to make sure rape culture is not normalized at Recess and other bars in the Bloomington community.

“This tweet was just inappropriate by Recess, and we as College Democrats do not tolerate rape or assault of any kind,” Tossman said.

The Monroe County chapter of the National Organization for Women also sent out a tweet blaming Recess for perpetuating rape culture. 

Monroe County NOW's post included the Recess tweet and a picture of a sign that Kilroy’s on Kirkwood displayed Monday. The sign was eclipse themed, encouraging patrons to get drunk enough to black out while the moon blacked out the sun. 

They tagged multiple accounts, including It’s On US, an anti-sexual assault campaign with an active Big Ten partnership. 

Laura Collins, acting president of Monroe County NOW, said she found out about the original tweet from a friend’s Facebook post.

“It’s just gross,” Collins said. 

Although patrons of Recess must be at least 18 and therefore of legal age, many young women have never been in a nightclub before. Because of this, they may not understand the risks of entering this potentially predatory environment, Collins said.

“It seems very irresponsible,” Collins said. “There are ways they can promote their nightclub without promoting this behavior.” 

Collins, along with some online users, was concerned about the tweet's message because it reminded her of Lauren Spierer, a junior textiles marketing major who disappeared after visiting Kilroy’s Sports Bar on June 3, 2011. Spierer, who was 20 at the time of her disappearance, has not been found.

Kilroy’s Recess could not be immediately reached for direct comment on their Friday night tweet.

The establishment’s online responses to the issue began at 8:08 a.m. Saturday after a Twitter user asked them if they wanted to explain the tweet.

“Not really,” the Recess Twitter account replied. 

Another user tagged Cuban in a tweet, noting he was in Bloomington and asking what he thought.

Although Cuban did not reply, Recess did.

“Well he was there last night, so,” Recess said, ending the tweet with an emoji of a shrugging woman.

Snapchats from the Kilroy's area show Cuban in Kilroy's on Kirkwood but not in Recess.

This story will be updated.

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