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Eatery Fires Manager Who Objected to Actor Drew Droege’s Gay Kiss


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    LOS ANGELES (The Advocate) — The Los Angeles restaurant manager who admonished gay actor Drew Droege and his male date for showing affection in public has been fired.

Droege and his date were at the El Compadre restaurant in the Echo Park neighborhood Monday evening and had exchanged a few kisses when the manager told them it was a family establishment and such behavior wasn’t allowed.

On Monday evening, Drew Droege was enjoying the company of his date while the couple was dining and having drinks before a show the pair was planning to see. The two men had enjoyed dinner and drinks and were expressing their affection for one another when, according to Droege, the manager of El Compadre in Echo Park approached the couple.

“We had our arms around each other and kissed a few times,” Droege wrote in a Facebook post. “A manager approached our table and said something to the [effect] of, ‘you guys can’t do that here.”

Droege continued, “We were confused at first, but then he very firmly stated, ‘this is a family restaurant.’”

He wrote that he asked the manager whether somebody had complained because, as far as he could see, the restaurant was filled with straight couples who were dining, laughing, and engaging in similarly affectionate behavior.

“He threw his hands in front of us and said, ‘I don’t care if you’re the President of the United States, we don’t allow your behavior here,’” Droege recounted on Facebook.

The restaurant’s parent company issued an apology on Instagram, said it welcomed the LGBTQ+ community, and promised to investigate the matter.

The company deleted that post, but Wednesday afternoon it put up another saying the manager had been fired. “We want to sincerely apologize for the actions of our manager the night of December 12th,” the new Instagram post said. “This is not representative of our core values at El Compadre, and we wanted to let our customers know that the manager has been terminated.”

Droege shared the post on Instagram and Facebook and thanked those who had offered support to him. He got positive reaction such celebrities as Billy Eichner, Harvey Guillen, and Ben DeLaCreme.

Earlier, he had told The Advocate, “I have never been asked not to show love in public. Sadly, I have dealt with homophobia all my life and thought that a display of affection in Los Angeles was a safe thing to do.”

He had found the company’s reaction inadequate, he told The Advocate and other media before the message about the manager’s firing was issued. The company hadn’t contacted him directly, he said.

The Advocate has requested comment from Droege on the manager’s termination and will update this story if he responds.

Droege first became famous with videos of him portraying a parody version of actress Chloë Sevigny. He has appeared in a variety of films and TV shows, including The Goldbergs, Bob’s Burgers, and Q-Force.

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