Alexis Brison of St. Louis, Missouri, was shopping at the Independence Center in Independence, Missouri, with a friend over the weekend when the pair decided to grab a bite to eat at the Applebee’s in the mall. About an hour into the dinner, the pair were approached by a police officer, a mall cop, and the restaurant manager.
The two women were accused of not paying for chicken the day before. The evidence? According to Brison, the manager said that the member of staff remembered the people who ate and ran were a “skinny girl” and “a girl who wore makeup.”
Brison decided to film the encounter, which she believes to be racial profiling.
In a caption alongside the video, Brison explained:
The pair were eventually told to pay for their dinner, leave and not come back.
They later phoned the restaurant to see why they had been accused.
The video quickly acquired millions of views, and thousands of shares and comments on Facebook. The company released a statement on Monday, saying that an investigation of the incident had led the franchisee to fire the manager, server, and another employee.
The statement explained that the restaurant had also been closed down: “We do not tolerate racism, bigotry or harassment of any nature, and we have taken additional steps to close the restaurant at this time in order for the team there to regroup, reflect, learn and grow from this.”
The company also said it was “reaching out to the guests involved to apologize directly.”
Bill Georgas, CEO of Applebee’s local franchisee, issued a second statement:
Social media reactions to the response and initial video were mixed.
What do you think of this incident?