Coronavirus: Hotel's 'racist' COVID signage sparks calls to boycott

·News Editor
·3-min read

A Sydney pub is facing backlash over multiple signs that appeared to display ‘racist’ messages tied in with coronavirus information.

Customers are calling to boycott the Maroubra Junction Hotel in Sydney’s east after photos of the signs were shared on social media.

Messages of social distancing and hand washing were headlined with capital letters reading: “CHINESE CORONAVIRUS PLAN” and “WUHAN CORONAVIRUS PLAN”.

One sign stated: “You’re in this with us. Keep the grubs out”.

Two signs inside the Maroubra Junction Hotel, which have been blasted as racist.
The signage has been slammed as "racist" and "insensitive" towards Asian cultures. Source: Facebook

Another said: “If you are from Melbourne or look like you are, you will be asked to leave.”

It included a drawing of a ‘hipster’ with a beard, a moustache and a man-bun.

The signs, shared over Facebook and Twitter, were slammed as “racist” and “ignorant”.

“This is disgusting! Surely this can be reported!” one woman wrote.

“How can we start a Maroubra Junction Hotel boycott?” a man said. “Unbelievable signage.”

Jason Ling, who posted one of the images on Facebook, noted that the remarks about Melbourne residents weren’t the real issue.

“This is not about the casual racism of Melburnians. It's about the divisive language used to single out Asians. Why not use official designation of COVID-19? This pandemic has spread beyond China,” Mr Ling wrote.

Signs inside the Maroubra Junction Hotel. Source: Facebook
The signs were headlined: 'Chinese coronavirus plan' and 'Wuhan coronavirus plan'. Source: Facebook

“I don't often speak up about things like this, but it's tone deaf and highly irresponsible. This kind of rhetoric is the kind of casual racism that conflates race and the pandemic.”

Federal Labor MP Andrew Giles responded to the sign on Twitter.

“It’s vile,” he said. “There’s never any excuse for racism.

“Now, it’s especially important that we reject the forces of hate and division that are attacking our social cohesion and diminishing us all.

“We need an anti-racism strategy.”

Dr Darren Saunders, Associate Professor of Medical Sciences at UNSW, also voiced his disgust at the messages.

“Can’t quite believe this racist, divisive drivel is being projected on big screens outside Maroubra Junction Hotel,” he wrote.

Michael Daley, the Member for Maroubra, took it upon himself to take action when he saw the messages being shared on social media.

“I have been alerted to racist COVID -19 signage at the Maroubra Junction Hotel. I went straight to the hotel and spoke to the manager and owner there and asked them to remove it. They have agreed and will take it down immediately, as they should. This is unacceptable.”

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Yahoo News Australia’s attempts to contact the Maroubra Junction Hotel for comment have so far been unsuccessful.

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