Chain denies waitresses are 'sexual entertainers'

ORANGE (CBS/AP) — The National Organization for Women is asking authorities to bar Hooters restaurants in Orange County and throughout California from serving children.

The group’s California chapter on Thursday filed complaints against the restaurants with prosecutors and police.

Hooters is known for its scantily clad waitresses. But NOW says the restaurants it identified are classified as adult entertainment establishments and are violating state and local laws by serving minors.

Patricia Bellasalma, NOW’s California president, told the San Francisco Chronicle that in recent years, Hooters has promoted itself as family friendly. It offers children’s menus and T-shirts in children’s sizes that say “Future Hooters Girl.”

Hooters said in a statement Friday that the charges were “ridiculous” and that the restaurant chain was not in violation of any laws.

“The Hooters brand of sex appeal is wholesome and that of the all-American cheerleader, not a seedy strip club,” said Mike McNeil, vice president of marketing for the Atlanta-based chain.

“Hooters is no more in violation of California’s adult entertainment codes than the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition is.”

Attorney Mona Lisa Wallace, president of NOW’s San Francisco chapter, filed a complaint against the chain with San Francisco police.

She told KTVU-TV that Hooters has called itself an adult establishment to defend itself against lawsuits accusing the chain of discrimination because it does not hire men to serve food.
hiring practices in equal employment lawsuits.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports

“Hooters, Inc. claims that they are not a restaurant but that they are rather vicarious sexual entertainment,” Wallace said.

“So their workers are not food servers or waitresses. Their workers are sexual entertainers.”

Adult venues cannot serve to minors under San Francisco law, but restaurants cannot discriminate by gender when they hire workers, she said.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (28)
  1. Mrs. H Rowe says:

    Why were kids working at Hooters to begin with? Aren’t there labor laws against that?

    1. J True Blood says:

      Umm… They want kids banned from the Resaurant, not from working at the Restaurant… Read the damn story before comenting…

  2. Mark Rosenthal says:

    This is so crazy I can’t even comment on it.

  3. Sanityforus says:

    Wow about NOW lol. I’ve been to many hooters and yes there have been children there and its nothing more than a restaurant like any other. What about the Disneyland restaurants ? They have Characters sometimes and ‘ I ‘ would have an issue with someone in a ‘moldy’ suit serving me FOOD ! I bet if you see a picture of the members of NOW there ALL women with NO discernible breasts of any kind, talk about ‘jealousy’. Would they be so quick to judge should a restaurant appear with MEN in skimpy outfits serving ?

  4. Tiffany says:

    If you don’t like the place, then simply don’t go or don’t take your kids there. Quit making something so minor into this huge MAJOR offense. They have been in business for nearly 30 years with the same style it has always had, but NOW its a problem? You have got to be kidding me??? You people need to seriously RELAX a little. This is completely stupid. And If your not careful, your kids are going to be just as ridiculous as you are…if not worse. Please STOP!

  5. AreYouJoking?! says:

    have these people never been to hooters? there is nothing LEWD about it…

    This woman group needs something better to do.. I mean seriously…

    There should be a womans group to stop ridiculous woman groups.

    1. nicko says:

      hahahahahahahahahaha. classic

  6. lala63 says:

    Why on earth would they say this was not a suitable place for kids to be served? And, now that I think of it, why are there NOT any male servers at this restaurant, and I’ve always wondered … what are hooters anyway? GIVE ME A BREAK. THEY ARE JUST PLAYING DUMB.

  7. J True Blood says:

    Seriously, are they going to ban children from the beach next?? What is it about the human body that these people are so afraid of? Perhaps those offended by skin should wear blinders, or stay home with the televisoin and lights off.

  8. lurker says:

    What about Joe’s Crab Shack and their t-shirts that say “I Have Crabs” or “Get Some Crabs”?

  9. lala63 says:

    And the more I think of it … someone should open up a place called “Johnson’s” and only hire good – looking, male servers who wear white beater tank tops and boxer shorts with a bullseye over their private area (below the belt). SERIOUSLY, would that REALLY be a family establishment kind of place to take kids (as they are suggesting Hooter’s is)???

  10. tbone says:

    I go there for the wings..the breasts are just gravy

  11. Nelson says:

    Who cares? The only people who go to Hooters are those with third grade educations who take time out from frying up road-kill to go out and celebrate. If they’d stop having children with their siblings and learn to read maybe they’d better understand the issue here.

  12. Carlos Cuevas says:

    Someone needs to start a group called NOT NOW!!!

  13. MMcK says:

    The National Organization for Women needs to get a life, go help charities, homeless people, give blood, do something important instead of clogging the judicial system., grow up.

  14. Rocy says:

    I have tried several times to post a comment on this article. Only comments that are negative to NOW’s action are being posted.
    Censorship on CBS “News”. Good to know.

  15. jessicaKannya says:

    What r u talking about Willis? If ladies desire to be Hooters girls, then this would alleviate any issues with costmecitc surgery. Hooters girls are all natural. Its the non-Hooters that are tipping the scale in the wrong direction. Lets keep the Hooters spirit and leave the bykes out.

  16. Rocy says:

    My comment supporting NOW’s move contained no vulgarity or inflammatory language or in any way broke basic rules of internet commenting and yet you are refusing to post it. Are you seriously telling me that not one person who read this article is pro-NOW and attempted to post a comment? I have made several attempts for the last 3 hours, meanwhile other negative comments have been posted. What is “moderate” pray tell about censoring people who don’t agree with you?

    1. mister s says:

      They do this all the time to people. I think its just one moderator though, it only seems to happen sometimes.

      1. Rocy says:

        Thanks for your feedback Mister S., because I got zero feedback from.the admin at this site. Again, “moderate” suggest middle and this site clearly takes sides. Weird, frustrating and creepy.

  17. Rocy says:

    Why won’t you post my comment?

  18. Kids also need to be barred from watching Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show on TV.

  19. Nameless Person says:

    If I want to take my little girl, husband and pregnant ass to Hooters then that’s my choice. I could really give a “hoot” about what NOW wants. Stay out of my way when I want some wings.

    This is as bad as that woman suing McDonalds because of the Happy Meal toys. UGH!!!

  20. D417 says:

    This is America and (to the great disappointment of many a politician) still a mostly free country! This means people are FREE to raise their kids however they like, including taking them to Hooters. This is NOT a decision for some women’s group or anyone else to make. Everyone needs to mind their own business and quit trying to control the lives and decisions of others! This is not saying I would take my young kids there, but I have no desire to make that decision for others.

  21. Corruptedfile says:

    What’s next, banning children from the beach? Because…you know…women wear even less at the beach. Some people just need to get over their sub-par childhood and stop trying to ruin everybody else’s.

  22. JAck Sparrow says:

    Hooters should be closed down. Its just not right.

  23. Rocy says:

    Why would you want to take your children to a place that objectifies women and fetishises their body parts? (It’s called Hooters!) Would you take your children to a restaurant called Balls with scantily clad males dresses in outfits that accentuate their danglies? Get real.

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