Discrimination Editor's Picks

Club in Itaewon denies entry to foreigners, especially those from Middle East

Photo Credit: Instagram by club_move
James Hyams
Written by James Hyams

Lounge & Club Move in Itaewon is being criticized by expats on social media due to their racist “no foreigner” policy despite featuring foreign bikini-clad girls in advertising.

Irish journalist John Power, a Korean-American friend, and two Koreans tried to enter the nightclub on Saturday night.

He was rejected and told that foreigners are not allowed but his mates were welcome to enter.

“The bouncer was a typical awkward 20-year-old-looking-guy who was shy about being racist,” John said.

John wrote in Korean directly to Lounge & Club Move on their Facebook page explaining what happened.

“I wrote: ‘I tried to enter at the weekend and was told no foreigners. The most ridiculous thing is my Gyopo friend was welcome to enter. If you are a club that hates foreigners, you should make that clear. Not only that, but you use foreign women to advertise the place. Isn’t that ridiculous?’”

They removed John’s comment and blocked him from commenting further.

Club Move’s general manager Lee Su-bin said they only allow foreigners in who are acquaintances.

“Generally speaking, we do not accept foreigners,” he said. “Once a foreigner beat the shit out of a customer and ran away. The customer filed a complaint claiming that we are responsible for the damages that he suffered. We have never received any kind of compensation from foreigners who have assaulted other customers or damaged our property.”

Lee said that many foreigners try to gain entry to the club as it is in Itaewon. He said many were admitted up until late last year when they are believed to have damaged the club.

“I have seen too many foreigners who would sexually harass other customers, break the property of the club and start a brawl,” Lee said. “What would you do that if you were the bar owner?”

“I am not saying Koreans make less trouble, it is just that we have no way to get compensations when foreigners cause damage.”

11542107_974273209259670_2131836419911735543_nWhen asked about the copyright of foreign models Lee seemed complacent.

“If we get sued, it will be a problem. But they will never be able to find it out,” he said. “We make posters with foreign models because we would get sued for copyright infringement if we use the photos of Korean models.”

Lee acknowledged that they are receiving negativity from expats on their Facebook page.

“People are commenting negatively about our club online, but we are not concerned about it.”

He also noted that the bouncer may allow certain harmless looking foreigners but will reject anyone from the Middle East.

“Men from the Middle East treat women like slaves. They sexually harass women all the time,” he said.

An anonymous source with connections to management at the club said that foreigners are granted entry to the club on an individual basis and those that do not fit the clubs “image” are rejected.

“Move is definitely not a jeans and t-shirt kind of place either. It’s house, techno and has a very upscale image.”

After watching all 68 of their promotional videos on Facebook and going through the photos displayed on their blog, there are only two different non-Asian people identifiable.

Two videos show a white DJ and there is one photo of a blonde girl hugging a Korean girl.

Many photos demonstrate Korean patrons wearing daggy styled clothes, jeans, bikinis, shorts, and t-shirts, however there are also some very well dressed patrons.

Several patrons are shirtless and bikini-clad Korean girls swinging around stripper poles feature in several videos.

John said he is not surprised by the racial discrimination.

“After 5 years here, it was annoying, but hardly shocking. Discrimination isn’t uncommon, even in Itaewon, the ‘multicultural district.’ This seems to be acceptable in Korea.”

About the author

James Hyams

James Hyams

James Hyams juggles several careers including being a journalist and a social worker. James has an avid interest in 'telling it as it is', exposing matters of public interest, and reviving investigative journalism in the new digital era. Testimony to this is his thesis titled: “U.S. Government secrecy and the withering watchdog: Is WikiLeaks the answer?”

  • JMS

    Good, can’t blame them.

  • Kyrei

    I truly am on the side of the club owners here. “My business, my rules.” If you don’t like it, don’t go there. It is not like it is the only place in Itaewon to get a drink.

    • Kyrei

      You have the right to be offended. You do not have the right to not be offended.

  • naïli arere

    the same things happen in France too in clubs for black guys. i will not blame anyone. as it is said “my business, my rules”. Hopefully we have this blog to talk about and show it to the world…

  • http://discoveringkoreanunderground.tumblr.com Emz

    I NEVER spoke with you. Why is a private conversation I had with Tae-hoon used as a quote in this article????

    • James

      We’ve discussed this already. I am not sure why you are posting this here.

  • smithington

    Yet another stolen image. Unless their instagram contains a note stating that people can use their images, simply “crediting” it doesn’t make you compliant with copyright. On top of that you’re using an image of a club that isn’t even related to the negative article.

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