Owner of Iowa City Bar that Fat Shamed UI Student Apologizes

A University of Iowa student who claims she was discriminated against by an Iowa City bar over the size of her body says a student protest of the establishment is still on for this Friday despite a public apology issued by the owner.

Jordan Ramos told the Press-Citizen last Saturday that security guards at the Union Bar prohibited her from dancing on a platform overlooking the bar because she was "not pretty enough" and "obviously pregnant."

The 21-year-old says others have since come forward to make similar claims of discrimination against Union Bar. One such person, former Union Bar bouncer Austin Fall, said he was explicitly instructed by owners to "keep the fat and ugly girls away from the stage, the (platform), and especially the DJ."

According to Fall, the bar was concerned about the image projected by the girls allowed to dance on the bar. He says he personally turned 20 "heavy-set" patrons away from the platform.

But owner George Wittgraf claims barring certain people from the platform "has never been our policy." He says he held a meeting with employees to remind them that being disrespectful is bad for business. "If something was said to Miss Ramos, I am truly sorry," he said. "I would like to apologize for that."

Ramos isn't convinced, telling the paper a student protest scheduled for 9 PM this Friday will take place outside the bar as planned.

"They should publicly apologize to every single person they've done this to and admit that they do discriminate," she said. "I want it in writing, that every paying customer will be allowed in this establishment and allowed up on the platform and on the dance floor."

[photos via Jordan Ramos via Patch]