The Joy Feet Spa in Naples, Florida, finds themselves in a new kind of hot water after a video has surfaced online showing them deny service to a couple because they were two men.
Michael Levenosa and his boyfriend booked a couples spa only to arrive at the Joy Feet Spa, where the manager informed them the couples spa was only available to men and women couples. Levenosa then began recording the incident on his phone:
My boyfriend and I decided that we wanted to have a relaxing Monday. So we Prepaid $109 and booked a couples massage at “joy feet spa” on pine ridge road. When we arrived the manager refused to service us because we are two gay men. He made it clear it had to be a man and a woman pic.twitter.com/SSSi0hh2GL
— Michael Levenosa (@LevenosasWorld) March 4, 2019
Levenosa called for word to be spread on Facebook regarding the services he was denied.
Twitter was aghast at the poor treatment Levenosa and his boyfriend had received.
Truly disgusting and scary we still live in a world like this
— Jeremy Carroll (@Jeremiahda4th) March 5, 2019
@Joyfeetspa I am so disappointed to see such discrimination taking place in my own hometown. To deny that they qualify as a couple just because they are two men is abhorrent. I’m so sorry for your experience, you and your bf shouldn’t have had ur relaxing day ruined by this
— ???????????????????????????????? ⚯͛ ???? (@dani_hernandi) March 4, 2019
I'm sorry this happened to you and your boyfriend. You both deserved better. Humanity deserves better than such bigotry. I hope you both know that there is still a lot of love in the world and that will always outshine such hate. Good luck to the both of you!
— N/A (@KittonMitton) March 5, 2019
Many were surprised and disappointed to see things like this still happening in 2019.
im so sorry this happened to yall
— meg ????️???? (@meganf_laherty) March 5, 2019
Sounds like a suit waiting to happen.
— Just Me (@azulgris27) March 5, 2019
Sorry to hear about this and thanks for sharing the video. I'm sure these kind of things happen everyday and they're not brought to light. Hopefully @Groupon will provide a refund and be more careful with who and how they do business in the future.
— Joel Smith (@planetjoel) March 6, 2019
Calls for consequences against the spa were everywhere.
Other people thought that the manager’s behavior may have been a result of some sort of language barrier.
Yeah i think there was a misunderstanding on the owner side. How we see what makes sense to us on customer side might not be translated the same in owner’s mind. Think language barrier and cultural difference. At the end sorry for how you guys felt. Keep an open mind.
— Cor (@Cor41418518) March 6, 2019
To that point, the owner of the spa would later post on Levenosa’s Facebook, saying:
“Michael! I would say sorry to you and your boy friend. I miss understand the couple means. Could I do something to make up? I will give you and your boy friend one hour massage for free to say SORRY!”
I really think it was all about the different price for massage. He doesn’t seem like he was refusing massage, just wanted you guys to pay the amount it would be, if two males received a massage.
— Farid (@faridx78) March 6, 2019
In posts that have since been removed, the owner would write to Levenosa again, saying:
“I am sorry! I think I am miss understanding about the couple meaning. Couple means a pair or two person considered as joined together as married or engaged pair lovers. However in my county, a couple means a man and a woman as couple. I never see a couple have same sex. So I am sorry, I didn’t mean discriminate any gay or lesbian. I respect any one find the true love and also I hope they will love each other forever whatever they are both men or woman. I NEVER EVER discriminate ANY gay or lesbian! So please do not miss understanding me！I am sorry for what happens, but please don’t ruin my job. I am only a guy move to American for a few years, I think American people will forgive the small mistake by the culture.”
Levenosa, however, told Yahoo! that he believes the apologies are less than sincere:
“I feel like they just apologized because of all the attention that they got and all the bad reviews.”
He later said he would not be returning for the free spa offered to him:
“I can’t go back there, all I’ll be thinking about is how they treated us when we first got there. People need to treat people how they want to be treated. It’s that simple.”
It seems many on people online agree with him. Hopefully, the Joy Feet Spa have learned their lesson and won’t discriminate again in the future, accidentally or otherwise.
Despicable. Will be prank calling them all day tomorrow
— Sweaty Pepperoni ???????? (@PepperoniSweaty) March 5, 2019