The ghetto tours in New York City have been stopped after outraged complaints from residents in the Bronx.
According to the ABC, a group called Real Bronx Tours has been taking tourists from Manhattan to the South Bronx to show people what it was like to live in the “ghetto.”
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito sent a letter to Michael Myers, the owner of Real Bronx Tours, urging him to stop the ghetto tours.
The letter reads: “We strongly urge you to stop profiting off of a tour that misrepresents the Bronx as a haven for poverty and crime, while mocking everything from our landmarks to the less fortunate members of our community who are availing themselves of food assistance programs.”
Real Bronx Tours issued a statement this week saying that it would be stopping all tours to the area.
The tour promised to keep its clients, mostly European tourists, at a “safe distance” from the Bronx residents. The $45 tour took tourists past food pantry lines and housing projects as tour guides explained that the Bronx was “notorious for drugs, gangs, crime and murders” in the 1980s.
Bronx residents aren’t upset that there are tours coming through the area but they didn’t appreciate the scope of the ghetto tours. Elena Martinez, an anthropologist and Bronx resident, gives people walking tours through the neighborhood, showcasing theaters, dance clubs and other musical landmarks.
Martinez told Yahoo News: “Many young Europeans come here as a pilgrimage… This was the incubator for hip-hop, salsa, jazz, Afro-Cuban music, R&B. (The Bronx) has an incredible, majestic music culture.”
Martinez, along with several other Bronx residents, are starting a campaign calling “The Bronx Rising” to counter the Ghetto Tours.