Online Reviews Claim Texas 'Two-Step' Bar Featured on 'Queer Eye' Racist, Homophobic

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday January 9, 2022
Originally published on January 5, 2022

The Netflix series "Queer Eye" visited a "honky tonk" in Austin, Texas, on a recent episode, but dozens of online reviews of the place paint a portrait of homophobia, sexual harassment, and racism, Gawker reported.

The article noted that the reality show is touring the state of Texas this season, and zeroed in on a stop at an establishment called Broken Spoke in Austin, where patrons can receive lessons in two-step dancing.

On the episode, the show's team works with instructor Terri White, whose late father was the establishment's proprietor. "She tells Jonathan that she would turn gay for the hairstylist," the Gawker article said. "It's all very touching, good TV, as well as great marketing for the family business."

But, Gawker noted, the establishment's online reviews are not all stellar. Though there are many good write-ups, the article said, "Across Yelp, Google Reviews, and TripAdvisor, there are accusations of racism, homophobia, slutshaming, manhandling, and other unpleasant behaviors," a number of which specify "White's dance instruction" as a source of discomfort and offense.

The site posted no less than 30 reviews from across a period of several years, in which common refrains were repeated time and again. One post recounted that the dance instructor (which the review did not name) "referred to biracial individuals as half-breeds," while other posts claimed the instructor called people of color "little brown girls" and "little brown boys."

Another review described how the instructor told a Black man "this isn't hip-hop so don't be doing that stuff you call dancing."

Other reviews cited the instructor as objectifying women, with one female reviewer alleging that "at one point the instructor had us all line up and turn around as she told the men that she was doing them a favor and showing them our asses."

Other reviews described even more harrowing interactions. At least one review claimed that the instructor (described as an employee whose "dad owns the place so nothing is going to change") "groped" a woman and declared that "sexual assault is perfectly fine in this establishment." Another said the instructor ("I believe her name was Terri") had been "totally inappropriate."

"She grabbed my breasts and called me an anal bitch," the reviewer said.

Other negative accounts seemingly referred to other employees of the establishment, describing interactions in which people whose first language was not English were denigrated.

A pair of reviews seemed to recount the same incident, during which a group of students from the University of Texas at Austin showed up to the Broken Spoke expecting a fun night out. They were, they claim, treated disrespectfully because of their race, being accused of "crowding the dance floor" and subjected to "dirty looks" "sneers," and "overall tension radiating from the white management and the white clientele." When one member of the party spoke up in protest, "they called the cops on us."

In another post, a patron described how a military veteran "was kicked out for kissing her girlfriend."

Reviews called the experience "BRUTAL," "Super lame," "racist," "disgusting," and other colorful adjectives, with several individuals expressing a wish that it was possible to give "zero stars" to the place in their ratings.

"Did no one vet this place before working gay magic on an alleged dance hall racist?" Gawker wondered.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.