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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Austin Castañeda, a DJ and a promoter of Quezon City nightclub TodayxFuture, is facing accusations of sexual harassment, after an anonymous Twitter account with the handle @MeTooDayXFuture began posting incidents sent in by his alleged victims.
Gusto nyo ng labasan ng sama ng loob? Yeah, we got some and they involve one of TxF’s owners— Make the Future safe again! (@MeTooDayXFuture) March 15, 2018
One person described an incident where Castañeda took a video of him while he was hanging out near the DJ booth, and later started holding his hand. After a few more incidents with where Castañeda would hug and peck him, “he got more aggressive.”
“He kept licking my nape, and clutching at me from behind,” the person said. Later on, Castañeda also touched his genitals.
[Redacted] part 1 pic.twitter.com/ZMl4Q63pF9— Make the Future safe again! (@MeTooDayXFuture) March 15, 2018
Another person said that Castañeda would touch him, pinch his nipples, and bite him.
“Last year ipinakilala niya ako sa guy na crush ko at alam mo ang sabi niya? Hindi kami pwedeng magmomol unless i-momol muna namin siya. Yikes,” the person said.
(Last year he introduced me to the guy I had a crush on, and you know what he said? We couldn’t make out unless we made out with him first. Yikes.)
As @MeTooDayxFuture pointed out, many of the incidents shared by Castañeda’s alleged victims desribe him threatening to jokingly ban them from the club if they don’t agree with his wishes.
A common factor among several of these testimonies is the claim that Austin has threatened to ban his victims from the Future if they don’t comply. He does this jokingly, of course, but it surely has discouraged many of these people from confronting him. pic.twitter.com/Z7GFiP0KGd— Make the Future safe again! (@MeTooDayXFuture) March 16, 2018
A tweet from TodayxFuture’s account acknowledged the situation, and said that they are dealing with the issue internally.
We recognize the severity of this situation. We are dealing with this internally and are taking steps to address this issue properly. Please know that this pains us in every way but are determined to make things right. Thank you for your continued support.— TodayxFuture (@TodayxFuture) March 16, 2018
“Please know that this pains us in every way but are determined to make things right,” they said.
Castañeda himself apologized for his behavior, tweeting: “I’m very, very sorry for the incidents. I sincerely apologize for my bad, immature behavior and I’ve been working on dealing with my drinking problems ever since.”
I’m very, very sorry for the incidents. I sincerely apologize for my bad, immature behavior and I’ve been (cont) https://t.co/Nj9tHYcty4— Kill Your Boyfriend (@KillUrBoyfriend) March 15, 2018
“I am sorry for making you feel unsafe and uncomfortable around me. Drinking is not an excuse. It just really worsens the habit and brings out the worst in me, which I never, ever really intended to do,” he wrote.
“I’m ashamed of causing my family pain and Today x Future, the home that my sister, Leah, Sharon, and the rest of our Future family have nurtured, protected and cared for for many years. I humbly ask those involved not to drag Today x Future down because of this, as I take full responsibiity for my actions,” he added.
He concluded by saying that he is a message or phone call away for those who want to talk to him. “I am sincerely asking for your forgiveness, and am so, so sorry to everyone who [is] affected by this.”
@MeTooDayxFuture acknowledged Castañeda’s apology and thanked him for it, but said that the account will stay up until Castañeda addresses his drinking problem and makes personal apologies to the people he has hurt.
“We have faith in your ability to change, but until these demands are met, this account will stay up,” it said.
TodayxFuture is a beloved hangout especially for the LGBT community. Some of the club’s regulars said that they will continue to support the club, despite the news of Castañeda’s behavior.
Spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severo was among them, saying “For the music, for the bartenders whom I’m fond of and whose livelihood I value, for the conversations I get to have with strangers, and for the friends I get to catch up with, I’ll still go to TxF.”
For the music, for the bartenders whom I’m fond of and whose livelihood I value, for the conversations I get to have with strangers, and for the friends I get to catch up with, I’ll still go to TxF.— Juan Miguel Severo (@TheRainBro) March 15, 2018
Thanks to those who’ve spoken. And thanks @MeTooDayXFuture for the initiative.
Editor’s note: This article previously identified Austin Castañeda as the owner of TodayxFuture. The club’s patrons and the accusers have assumed that he is a co-owner, because he has been associated with the club since it opened. We have corrected the article to say Castañeda is a promoter of the club.