Flyers promoting a “Freedom to Twerk” party, depicting the late-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s as a gold-chain-wearing youth, evoked harsh social media reactions, but the ordeal also led to lots of misinformation over where the event would take place.
This morning, Roland Martin dispelled all of them on NewsOne Now in an exclusive interview with Vic McEwuen, owner of the Social Network Banquet and Event Center in Flint, Mich., where the event was set to take place. McEwuen said that he did not give the promoters permission to use his venue’s name on any of the marketing materials. In fact, any promoter who wants to print the name of McEwen’s business on any promotional materials has to get it cleared by him first, per contract clauses.
But that did not happen.
“I would never do this, he said. Nothing like this. Dr. Martin Luther King, he did so much in the Civil Rights Movement for all of us. Not just for Black people, but for all of us. And I have the highest respect for [Dr. King], his family, and foundation. I would never do something of this nature.”
Once McEwuen was made aware of the flyers, he reportedly sat down with the promoter to get an explanation. For one, McEwen said the promoter was in his late 30s not a teenager, as some reports suggest. But what reportedly made McEwen, a 10-year veteran of the Marine Corps, sad was that the promoter saw no issue with flyer.
“I was even more disgusted by the conversation because they really didn’t think anything was wrong with it, and that was sad. It really is and ignorant…. I voided the contract. I refunded him his $500 to rent my place here in Flint, and we parted ways. Then the fallout happened.”
Listen to the full discussion below: