Live updates: Lions vs. Seahawks

Detroit’s Populux shut down after apparent Twitter hack

Controversial tweets cause club to close its doors while an investigation is launched

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Detroit nightclub Populux has closed its doors for the immediate future while an investigation is launched into who posted a stream of inflammatory tweets to the venue’s Twitter page following Thursday’s shootings of several police officers in Dallas.

Majestic Theatre complex spokesperson Greg Bowens said Friday the club will be closed for “at least a week” as owners say they’ve filed complaints with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Wayne County internet crimes task force to determine the source of several racist tweets that appeared on the venue’s Twitter page overnight Thursday.

Employees and families at the Majestic “are angry and appalled at what has occurred,” Bowens said. “Folks are doing everything they can so nothing like this happens again in the future.”

As of Friday night, the venue’s Twitter and Facebook pages had been taken down.

Before the club decided to shut its doors, Chicago rapper Vic Mensa had announced he was canceling his July 29th concert at the venue, citing the tweets as his reason. “(I) will not be performing at @PopuluxDetroit on #BackWithAVengeance due to the racist comments they tweeted yesterday,” he wrote Friday.

Jamil Davis, who co-manages rapper G-Eazy and has tour managed artists including Drake, followed Mensa’s tweet by replying, “smh. Going to reach out to all my colleagues to pull their shows from there also.”

Los Angeles duo Bixel Boys had also pulled out of their Friday night concert at the venue.

“We unfortunately will be canceling our show in Detroit tonight due to public statements made by the venue,” Bixel Boys said in a statement on their Facebook page on Friday. “Our country is in need of healing, and we can not support an establishment (or any institution for that matter) that undermines those efforts with ignorance.”

The offending tweets included one that read, “#blameobama all you libtards caused these deaths. #dallasshooting.” It was followed by a dismissive hashtag of the Black Lives Matter movement and accompanied by a photo of rapper Birdman on a bottle of hot sauce along with the message “Put some Respeck on it,” along with a laughing/ crying face emoji.

It was one of several tweets that appeared on the Populux page, along with a retweet from former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, who wrote a series of tweets early Friday blaming President Obama for the attacks. “10 Cops shot. You did this Obama. You did this liberals. You did this #BLM. Time to defend our cops. Wake up,” read one of the tweets that was repeated on the Populux page.

Early Friday, Populux wrote on Twitter that its Twitter feed had been compromised. “We sincerely apologize about the views expressed in some tweets that went out last night. Our account was hacked,” read a message posted on the Populux Twitter feed at 7 a.m. Friday. At the time, some of the retweets were still in the page’s feed, but were later removed.

In a Facebook post on Friday afternoon, Populux said the tweets were not authorized and the club was working to find out who sent the offending messages.

“We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement,” the message read, in part. “Those people that know us understand who we are, our belief in equality of all people, and our love for all people.”

Many commenters on Facebook doubted the authenticity of the hack. Bowens said he would not get into the details of the hack so as not to impede the ongoing investigation.

“Nobody believes a hack can happen until it happens to them,” he said.

Populux launched in spring 2015 in the site of former Detroit indie rock club the Magic Stick.

The other businesses inside the Majestic Theatre complex, including the Garden Bowl and the Majestic Cafe, will remain open while Populux is shuttered.

(313) 222-2284