The forecast for West Hollywood: shady.
Our friends at Wehoville report that David Cooley, owner of West Hollywood venue The Abbey, has encountered social media pushback after pushing the idea to cut the pay of the iconic club’s pretty darn fabulous go-go dancers. Cooley made the initial announcement several weeks ago, cutting the pay of the dancers by 25% a night. Several of the dancers, who work as freelance employees, lodged immediate complaints. Cooley fired one dancer over his protest.
Cooley made the announcement via an email, in which he slammed his dance staff for poor work, and for fraternizing with bar patrons for tips. Prior to the pay cut, dancers at The Abbey collected only a $100 paycheck, earning the rest of their pay in tips. Cooley cut dancer pay to a mere $75 per night for roughly four hours of work, but tips can be more lucrative.
The backlash began with Abbey dancer Teddy Bear, who posted a statement via Instagram and Twitter. In his postings, he called for a boycott of The Abbey until Cooley restored dancer pay. Teddy Bear also reported the following day that he’d been fired and banned from They Abbey, as well as its sister venue, The Chapel.
The Abbey, one of the most profitable bars in Los Angeles, decided to cut all the dancers pay because David Cooley wants to be even richer while he’s employees struggle to survive. Please if you care about the gay community #BoycottTheAbbey
— Teddy Bear (@TheXXXTeddyBear) August 28, 2018
The Abbey restored the dancer pay to the previous level of $100 per night. For our money (as it were), the Abbey dancers deserve their paycheck. Have a look, and remember to tip folks.