McFadden’s is no stranger to being linked with bad decisions. (Go ahead, look through the bar’s Facebook gallery of party photos and hope against hope you aren’t in any of them.) So it shouldn’t be totally surprising that the West End bar is being roundly slammed for making one really, really bad decision about how to promote its upcoming Thanksgiving party.
And yet, the hangover from this one could be worse than one typically associated with caramel apple shots:
As you can see, the above flier — which is making the rounds on social media and drawing angry comments from the Washington area and beyond — calls for partygoers to “drink like a [sic] Indian.” Apart from the use of the word Indian in place of Native American, DCist points out why the association with binge drinking is so painfully cavalier toward a population whose alcohol-related death rate is reportedly thrice the national average. By the way, November happens to be Native American Heritage Month.
This isn’t the first time McFadden’s has pushed the limits of good taste in promoting an event at its D.C. location. Who could forget August 2010’s “WWIII Bombs Away Bash,” which featured Landmine, M-16 and Hand Grenade shot specials? (McFadden’s also promoted a visit by Ronnie from “Jersey Shore” in Sept. 2010, which represents a different kind of bad taste.)
The episode adds another chapter to the annals of cringeworthy D.C. nightlife promotion. Earlier this year, my colleague Fritz Hahn noted the widespread use of Dr. Martin Luther King’s image to hype unrelated club events on the eve of the Civil Rights leader’s federal holiday.
McFadden’s has removed the flier from its Web site, but has yet to address the dozens of publicly-visible Facebook responses. A call to McFadden’s went unanswered; the voicemail inbox was full.