‘Offensive’ monkey statue removed by Devon cafe after outraged customer complains

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A café in Devon has decided to remove a statue of a monkey after an outraged customer complained. Fortes at Foxholes in Queen’s Drive, opposite Exmouth Lifeboat Station, had the figure standing on its serving hatch.

The statue, reportedly used as a business card holder, was removed after a customer complained that it was “offensive”, Devon Live reports.

The owners have confirmed that the figure is no longer on display and have assured the public that no offence was intended. Furthermore, they said that they do not condone racism of any kind.

The news has reportedly been welcomed by the complainant. Speaking to DevonLive the customer, who asked not to be named, said: “I was recently at Fortes and noticed they have a figurine of a monkey depicted as a human begging for money.”

They added that they believed that Fortes café was using the statue, dressed in a hat and jacket, for tips.

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The customer added: “Given the heightened issue in the pub in the UK displaying golly dolls, and the fact that these types of caricatures are racist towards black people, I asked to speak to the manager about it but they were not there.

“A member of staff seemed to be indifferent about the figurine saying it was just decor. It is highly offensive. I am very glad the owners have since decided to remove the figure.

“It’s really important that we reflect on how welcoming and inclusive our environments are here in the southwest to people of all backgrounds.”

Fortes café is a popular spot on Exmouth’s seafront. Following the decision to take down the statue, they decided to release a statement.

The owners of the café, Claire and Andy Heard: “We would never endorse the use of any item which may have racist connotations as we take this very seriously.

“The figure of a monkey business card holder was removed as soon as the gentleman mentioned it may cause offence.

“We invite the gentleman to contact us directly for us to apologise further if he wishes and we thank him for his comments.”