"By starting this dialogue, we aim to empower victims to share their stories holding those closest to the nightlife community accountable, we can undoubtedly begin to shift the culture."
LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) July 23, 2020
Co-Founders’ Celeste Durve and Kelsi Kitchener of leading LA hospitality and VIP agency VIPER, announced today the launch of nightlife safety initiative “#LastCall.” A term generally signifying the end of the night, this is also is a time where the mistreatment of women has often been overlooked. VIPER is beginning the uncomfortable, yet crucial, conversation around the sexual harassment, assault and drug-facilitated assault surrounding the nightlife industry as the city of Los Angeles begins to reopen.
The #LastCall initiative inspired by VIPER’s action and voice regarding the current lawsuit for the wrongful death of former Playboy employee Kimberly Fattorini, which immediately resulted in over 50 other women coming forward with their personal assault stories. It is a call to action for all major players involved in the nightlife industry to begin a systemic change in how women are treated and looked after at the end of the night. The initiative begins with shedding light on the dark sides of nightlife and taking subsequent steps to ensure the safety of women in the nightlife scene.
“By starting this dialogue, we aim to empower victims to share their stories holding those closest to the nightlife community accountable, we can undoubtedly begin to shift the culture, says Durve and Kitchener, Founders of VIPER. “We are asking everyone to stand with this and take the #LastCall pledge.”
Many popular venues in LA will begin enacting some of these actionable steps including:
sbe (Doheny Room, S Bar, Hyde, Nightingale, Skybar), Warwick, The h. wood Group (Blind Dragon, Bootsy Bellows, Delilah, Harriet’s, Poppy), TAO, Waterfront and Winston House. Additional companies supporting this initiative include: Raya dating app and alcohol brands BEV and Ving.
The #LastCall initiative asks the nightlife community to implement the following:
1. Nightlife Neighborhood Watch: Encouraging patrons to pay attention to their surroundings and take notice of unsafe situations when the lights come on at the end of the night. Additionally, recommending everyone leave in groups with people they trust.
2. Reference Checks + Sexual Harassment training: Calling on venues to execute soft background checks and investigate references when hiring promoters, employees, and partners. As well as providing and enforcing sexual harassment training for all staff and promoters.
3. Valet + Security: Implementing safety protocols during exit period by rotating heavier security presence to exit. If a guest cannot properly stand up, valet and security should be required to bring it to the attention of the head guard or manager; and evaluate the situation to find the safest possible solution.
4. Female Leadership: Encouraging venues to hire female leads or managers who employees and patrons can file complaints with. As well as keeping track of write-ups against promoters, patrons, and employees with credible reports against them.
5. Listening to Feedback: Removing said patrons, promoters, and/or employees after three write-ups.
6. Counteracting Drugs: Recommending venues to train at least one member of management on how to properly help a drugged victim on site.
7. Brand Integration: Aligning with brands to support this movement is crucial. The more companies who speak out against this, the more pressure we put on the system to reform.
8. Last Call Board of Advisors: Composed of top LA nightlife executives and club owners the Board of Advisors will provide feedback, filter promoters and establish official protocols for nightlife safety. Increasing the conversation and accountability among nightlife’s key players, the goal is to ensure that identified predators are held liable across all venues. Additionally, this committee will sift through reports and references to verify accuser credibility.
"We are committed to the safety of our female staff and customers. The h.wood Group and all our venues will amplify this conversation and implement the #LastCall initiatives," said John Terzian and Brian Toll Co-owners of The h. wood Group.
"sbe proudly supports the #LastCall pledge which is consistent with our core values including integrity and respect. The practices outlined in the pledge complement our current practices and initiatives at sbe and we will look to continue our role as a leader in the lifestyle hospitality industry with best practices related to safety and security for all of our guests and in particular women. We are committed to a culture and work environment where the practices set forth as part of the #LastCall pledge continues to be woven into the fabric of how we operate our venues. Said Robert Mellwig, Chief Culture Officer of SBE.”
“At Warwick, we are proud to partner with VIPER and all women in support of the #LastCall nightlife safety movement. We do not believe that anyone should have to choose between being safe and having fun, and hope that our fellow owners and operators in the nightlife industry will join us by taking action in order to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.” Said Sylvain Bitton, JT Torregianni, David Jarrett, Partners of Warwick.
"The safety and well being of our guests and team members is something we take very seriously. We realize that women in particular are often at greater risk for harassment and predatory behavior at night. Therefore, we are proud to stand with Viper and the #LastCall initiative, which mirrors many of the best practices we currently have in place." Said Andrew Sidden, GM Avenue Los Angeles & The Highlight Room.
For more information, please visit https://viperbykch.com/ and Viper’s IG at @viperbykch.
Founded in 2016 by Co-Founders Celeste Durve and Kelsi Kitchener, VIPER is a Los Angeles-based premier hospitality and VIP agency, operating under the umbrella of The KCH Group. This all-female team of over 50 women, manages guest experiences on behalf of the world’s largest A-list celebrities and global brands at the intersection of pop culture + nightlife + experiential activations. Its client roster ranges from the likes of Spotify, Hulu, ESPN, BET, Apple, Google, and NFL, to Drake, Beyoncé, DJ Khaled, and Kanye West.