New West nightclub to rename 'Pimps & Hos Party'
The poster for a "Pimps & Hos Party" at a New Westminster nightclub. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
A New Westminster nightclub is changing the name of its "Pimps & Hos Party" following pressure from a former madam who said the costume party promotes pimping and prostitution.
"It is very dehumanizing to women,” said Tania Fiolleau. “We should not be encouraging this as being a cool trend."
Fiolleau works to rescue prostituted women from their pimps as part of her organization, Save The Women.
"I completely understand her point of view," said Status club owner Saverio Loria. While he had previously told Fiolleau that it was too late to change the event, Loria said Tuesday that the name of the event will be changed, but if people still come dressed up in “pimps” and “hos” costumes, he won't turn them away.
"That's a good start," said Fiolleau.
Loria said he changed the name primarily out of respect for Fiolleau.
"I consider her a friend," he said, though he thinks she's taken this too far.
"It's just a costume party," said Loria. "People dress up as devils on Halloween, it doesn't mean they're devils."
Fiolleau said that far from being just a party, events like these allow real pimps to show off the prostitutes working for them.
She said she is currently working with two of the girls pictured in promotional photos for the club, coaching them on how to get away from their pimps and working with one of them on suicide prevention.
Loria said he doesn't know who those girls are and that people take pictures with him all the time and sometimes he doesn't even know who they are.
“It’s great that she’s trying to rescue them,” he said, even though he said he doesn’t feel the outrage should be directed at him. “It’s not that I’m the first guy [to put on this kind of party].”