Human rights complaint over Earls' “Albino Rhino” brand moves forward

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has decided to hear a complaint against Earls Restaurants over the “albino” branding of some of its menu items.

Ikponwosa Ero, who has albinism, filed a human-rights complaint over the restaurant chain’s marketing of its exclusive “Albino Rhino” beer brand and promotion of “Albino Wing Wednesdays”.

Ero alleges the use of the term “albino” by the restaurant is demeaning and humiliating. She argues people with albinism have a distinct physical appearance that has often made them the subject of ridicule.

Earls has denied it discriminated, arguing the branding was intended to be whimsical and only a reference to albinism in rhinoceroses, not human beings. The restaurant chain also says the word “albino” was picked because it rhymes with “rhino”.

Earls sought to have the compliant dismissed. However, in a ruling issued today (December 14), tribunal member Marlene Tyshynski determined the case deserves to go to hearing.

“In my view, one could reasonably conclude that there is a relationship between discriminatory product marketing due to the use of the term ‘Albino’ and differential and demeaning treatment of persons with albinism, if, of course, this is proven,” Tyshynski said in the written decision. “On its face, the complainants make an allegation that, if proven, could amount to a contravention of the [Human Rights] Code.”

Albinism is a genetic condition in which a person’s body has difficulty producing melanin, resulting in a lack of skin and hair pigment. The condition is also associated with vision problems.

Comments (26) Add New Comment
Canadian Xpat
Another reason for the disbandment of these Political Correct Fascists and their witch hunts.
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Bro_D
I'm offended by the fact that the beer in article's photo is clearly NOT albino. Albino beer should be devoid of pigment.
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Jack Roe
Anyone supporting this is a moron. We need a Moron-Censure Tribunal to do something about all you fucking anti-liberty morons.
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Albino Wino
I'm going ask the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to go after the Blasted Church wineries ... I'm deeply offended by the branding - especially when I have to endure reading the label when I pick up a bottle to get blasted before going to church ...
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RUK
Hey let's just read the ruling when it comes, awright? The claimant made a prima facie case but the onus is still on the claimant to have the factual basis. Let's see what evidence they have. It's not going to hurt anyone to go through the exercise of seeing where the line should be drawn.
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Jerry Olynuk
I have tried to read as many comments as possible on this issue, and I am glad to see that in the court of common sense Mr. Ash and Ms. Ero have lost. If you are a concerned Canadian, it is time to start doing something about these tribunals and the abuse of process they represent.
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