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San Antonio Owners of Black Swan Yoga Apologize for Resurfaced Blackface Photos

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FACEBOOK / BLACK SWAN YOGA
  • Facebook / Black Swan Yoga
Black Swan Yoga San Antonio owners Jaimee and Jamie Scope — yes, you read those first names correctly — apologized this week after images of the married couple resurfaced online in which Jamie, the husband, is wearing blackface.

The photos were taken during Halloween in 2011, when Jamie dressed as Mr. T. The pictures apparently first surfaced last year and drew criticism, but the owners didn't address the issue at the time.

However, this week, after the yoga studio made a social media post supporting Black Lives Matter, commenters criticized the hypocrisy of claiming solidarity while avoiding accountability for the photos.

SCREEN CAPTURE / INSTAGRAM / @JAIMEESCOPE
  • Screen capture / Instagram / @Jaimeescope

"Gotta say I’m from San Antonio and the black face photo of your owners that’s circulating again, without any sort of response, solidifies that this is bullshit... understand that," user @brittny_thomas commented on a June 4 post on the studio's Instagram account.

On Wednesday, BSY SA released a statement on Instagram and Facebook addressing the controversy.

"My husband and I want to address something that has recently resurfaced," Jaimee Swope posted. "You all deserve an apology.

"In 2011, my husband dressed in blackface for Halloween and there are pictures of us together. There is no excuse for our actions. We both want to apologize for the pain it has caused. It was never, ever coming from a place of hate."

The statement goes on to address the couple's choice to ignore the scandal when it first arose: "To be honest, these photos were brought to our attention last year and I wasn't ready. I didn't know how to handle it — I hid it in shame, hoping it would go away if we just ignored it."

BSY SA's parent company in Austin also released a statement.

"Yesterday, we learned that licensees of our brand in San Antonio committed an act of racism 10 years ago by wearing blackface to a Halloween costume party," it reads.

"The owners of BSY SA were trusted by us with the BSY brand, so it is imperative we take actions to repair the damage caused by their decisions."

Both statements detail actions that BSY SA will take in the wake of the scandal, including educating its staff members on anti-racist practices, donating 50% of its profits to the NAACP for the remainder of 2020 and hiring an anti-racism consultant to conduct an audit of its business practices and educate owners and staff.

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