A pub in Sydney’s inner west has admitted they denied entry to a woman with cerebral palsy on her 21st birthday because they “believed she was intoxicated”.
Liane Gorham said her friend’s “beautiful and inspiring” daughter was out celebrating with friends when door staff at the Marlborough Hotel in Newtown rejected and belittled her on Saturday night.
“My friends beautiful and inspiring daughter was refused entry on the night of her 21st birthday,” Ms Gorham wrote on Facebook.
“She suffers from cerebral palsy. Disgraceful and discriminating behaviour by your door staff. She was belittled and laughed at. Shameful!”
Friends of Ms Gorham expressed their disbelief at what the young woman was forced to endure, as others shared their own troubles they’d encountered with the Marlborough Hotel door staff.
On Monday afternoon, hotel management made an official apology, writing “we screwed up”.
“Early Sunday morning we refused entry to a young lady as we believed she was intoxicated. Reality was she had cerebral palsy. And it was her 21st birthday. And we ruined her night,” their Facebook apology read.
“We apologise to the young lady, her friends and family. Unreservedly. We apologise for the humiliation and distress that we have caused.”
While a few people commended the venue for owning the mistake, others condemned the “hostile” door staff and the venue’s subsequent “generic and detached” apology.
“Horrifying. This beautiful young lady will remember her 21st forever for absolutely the wrong reason. More than an apology is called for,” one woman wrote.
“My daughter has Cerebral Palsy and dystonia and when she gets older I hope this never happens to her. Absolutely disgusting,” another said.
“After ruining the poor girl’s special birthday and no doubt her confidence, surely something more than an apology is needed here.”
A string of one-star reviews have also been left on the hotel’s Facebook page, with calls to boycott the venue until changes are made.
Yahoo7 News has contacted Solotel, the venue’s management for comment.