We are pleased to report that Earl’s Restaurants has agreed to remove the word “albino” from all of their products and marketing in response to the human rights complaint filed on behalf of all persons in British Columbia with the genetic condition known as albinism. Since the complaint only sought the removal of the “albino” brand (and did not seek any monetary damages for the complainant or the members of the class) it has now been formally withdrawn.
Please see below the statement issued by Earl’s Restaurants announcing the removal of the “albino” brand (or to be redirected to the statement on the Earl’s website click here):
"Earls Restaurants Ltd. has chosen to remove the word “albino” from all of our products and marketing in response to a human rights complaint by a group of persons with the condition of albinism. The change to the menus in all our restaurants will be completed by April 24, 2013.
The Albino Rhino brand was created 25 years ago and named after the white rhinoceros. It did not occur to us that the name would be associated with albinism, neither did it occur to us it would offend. We do not believe the use of the word “albino” reflects any intention to discriminate against persons with albinism. We have learned from participating in the human rights complaint process, however, that many persons with albinism are genuinely offended and feel that their dignity is negatively impacted by the use of the word “albino” in our marketing. Albinism is a very rare condition and like many Canadians we knew very little about the condition or the very real discrimination persons with albinism experience, both in Canada and around the world. Persons with albinism are a stigmatized group that face prejudice and exclusion in many areas of Canadian society.
Although we did not agree with the complaint, Earls wishes all members of the public to feel welcome at our restaurants and, accordingly, we no longer feel it is appropriate to use the word “albino” as part of our marketing."