Three unnamed Pizza Hut employees in Bryant, Arkansas were fired after they decorated a pizza box headed to two African-American customers with a veritable Whitman’s Sampler of racist rhetoric.
Via Fox16, Samonte Wallace and Bryan Reed ordered pizza from their local Pizza Hut twice last Sunday. There were no issues with the first order, but when they went back later that day, they discovered (after eating most of this new pizza without looking at the box on the way home from the restaurant) that the top part of the box had a swastika and “KKK” drawn on them, while the bottom contained, under the pizza like a bigotry depth charge, a racial slur that starts with “n” and ends with “you know damn well which word I’m talking about.” Wallace’s mother apparently spoke with Pizza Hut corporate, who apologize and offered them a free dinner. Wallace, understandably, doesn’t particularly want it, because he’s been pretty well put-off from Pizza Hut given what happened.
Pizza Hut also put out the following statement:
“The actions of the employees involved are inexcusable and have resulted in their termination. We have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behavior and regularly train our employees to treat everyone fairly, equally and with respect. As soon as the local franchise owner found out about this he contacted the customer and apologized. We extend that sincere apology to everyone who was offended by this ignorant act. Obviously not a true reflection of the company or the local franchisee who acted very swiftly in responding.”
Wallace and Reed, meanwhile, say they’ve received no such apology directly (something they make clear in the news piece that they would really appreciate, thanks much). In the meantime, they’ve filed a police report. Police are currently investigating it as a hate crime, which is a little surprising in that I didn’t realize something like this was actionable. The More You Know.
There’s always one person who shouts “FAKE!” as a trump card response to stories such as these, often paired with a smirking, self-satisfied comment like “these stories about restaurants always turn out to be lies!” It’s even possible confirmation bias has allowed these poor intellectually-unburdened individuals to convince themselves statements like these are actually true, rather than (in the majority of cases) the fever-dreams of people sad, lonely, and desperate enough to need to shout “FAKE!” on the internet just so someone, anyone, will hear and acknowledge their pain and solitude as they shout into the void. So yes, let’s get this out of the way now: it’s theoretically possible Wallace and Reed could have written the messages themselves. It’s possible they’re just doing it for...I don’t know, attention or something, and for all the non-existent monetary gain this will ultimately net them. Bully for you, internet super sleuths, for you have cracked the case! You’re so very smart and cool and nobody hates you at all.
Pizza Hut doesn’t seem to think they’re lying, though; as noted above, the three employees were immediately fired after this was brought to their attention, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.* If we assume this is true (and we should), though, what’s most incredible about this story might be that there’s a single human being left in America dumb enough to do something like this and think it wouldn’t result in their immediate termination. Then again, there are a lot of really, really dumb people in the US.
Speaking of which, I look forward to the cavalcade of commenters insisting that “maybe the employees were Tibetan and the swastika was just a good luck charm.” That train’s never late.
* h/t Senator Chris Murphy.
Images via screengrab.