Four employees of a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop in Georgia are out of a job after crafting a noose from dough, wrapping it around the neck of one of them, and guffawing, all above a banner proclaiming, “Happy 4th of July.”
The video, which the young white male employees proceeded to post on Snapchat, drew immediate backlash for its racist overtones, given the history of nooses in this country. The incident happened in Woodstock, Georgia, about 30 miles north of Atlanta.
Jimmy John’s responded in kind.
“We have zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form,” the franchise’s parent company said on Twitter. “The franchisee has taken immediate action and the employees have been terminated. The actions seen in this video are completely unacceptable and do not represent the Jimmy John’s brand.”
Jimmy John’s corporate offices also headlined their Facebook page with a pinned post disavowing the actions.
Comments continued to fly, as The Telegraph of Macon reported.
“Are you proud to have these individuals as your staff…?” tweeted one customer. “This is disturbing and not funny in the slightest.”
Others wondered about the health implications, on top of the insensitivity bordering on cruelty that passed for amusement.
“Wonder how many sandwiches they then went on to make with that dough??” one commenter mused.
Scores of people swore they’d never eat at any Jimmy John’s. The more than 1,000 commenters on Jimmy John’s Facebook post were united on the horrifically un-funny nature of the video but not on whether the sandwich restaurant chain should be blamed.
“Could have happened at any establishment,” wrote one commenter on Facebook. “I can’t blame the company, only the person and their moral compass.”
“That’s horrible, but don’t take it out on the company,” wrote another.
To others, the blame lay somewhere in the middle.
“Teenagers, unsupervised around food, is not a way to run a business,” wrote another. “And for them, in the time we are in, thinking they can do this, video and post it and not think there will not be any repercussions speaks to their privilege, upbringing and poor management by the company as a whole.”
The hashtag Boycott Jimmy John’s was trending anew on Monday, though it had been around since last year, when an old photo resurfaced of company founder James John Liautaud posing with an elephant he had killed, according to USA Today. Liautaud has since said his big-game-hunting days are behind him, USA Today said.
Liautaud has also come under fire for his staunch support of President Trump’s reelection campaign, USA Today reported.
The bread-noose joke comes during a time of extreme sensitivity in the U.S., as protests continue across the country after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.
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