I wonder if they think blacks belong in audience of their funky little theater?
Paris - The management company of the Moulin Rouge cabaret lost an appeal on Friday against a court fine of €10 000 euros (about R80 000) for racial discrimination by refusing to employ a Senegalese man outside of its kitchen.
Abdoulaye Marega said he applied for a job at the cabaret in January 2001 but was told by employee Micheline Beuzit that "the Moulin Rouge doesn't take blacks in the theatre, only in the kitchen".
An investigation by state prosecutors found that the Moulin Rouge, whose scantily-clad can-can dancers are a huge tourist draw, had not hired a person who was not white as a performer or waiter for 40 years, though many are employed as kitchen staff.
Marega was awarded €4 500 in damages, and French anti-racism group SOS Racisme, which helped him bring the case, was awarded €2 300.
'The Moulin Rouge doesn't take blacks in the theatre, only in the kitchen'
An original fine of €3 000 euros on Beuzit following last November's ruling was halved by the appeals court.
Nestled in Paris's seedy Pigalle district, the Moulin Rouge had its heyday in the 19th century as a bawdy vaudeville and nightclub, depicted most recently in an eponymous cinematic musical starring Nicole Kidman.
Growing tamer with age, the club now draws coachloads of foreign tourists and groups of well-dressed executives to its nightly dinner and dance shows, famed for their lines of chorus girls with ostrich-feather head-dresses and racy high-kicks.
The club's staff manager told the court last autumn that since the case opened, the Moulin Rouge had taken on two people who were not white in its auditorium.