Jimmy John’s employees at a store in Woodstock, Georgia, were fired after a video of them creating a noose out of dough and “hanging” one of their fellow workers went viral on Twitter. The video was posted with the “Happy 4th of July” sticker emoji, and all four employees involved, the three featured on camera and the person videotaping, have all since been canned.
Jimmy John’s, the well-known American fast-food sandwich restaurant chain, was universally panned on Twitter after users online saw the video featuring four white employees mocking a lynching. The short clip was shared by thousands of Twitter members and has racked up millions of views since it was first posted over the holiday weekend.
This happened in Woodstock, GA, at a #JimmyJohns. White employees decided to make a noose out of bread dough, to mock the lynching of Black Americans. According to a rep at the store, the employees and the manager were fired. pic.twitter.com/W0cDhZ8bNI
— Ryan Guillory Sr. 💫💫 🇺🇸 (@Mr_RyanGuillory) July 5, 2020
After the video went viral, Jimmy John’s responded with a brief statement on Twitter condemning the actions of their workers: “We have zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form. 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.”
The employees involved in the incident have not yet been identified.
Jimmy John’s Tweeted an Official Apology Statement to ‘Prevent Anything Like This From Ever Happening Again’
— Jimmy John's (@jimmyjohns) July 6, 2020
On July 5, Jimmy John’s posted an official apology on Twitter. They wrote, “The actions seen in the video are absolutely unacceptable and do not represent the Jimmy John’s brand of the local franchise ownership team. As soon as we were alerted to the video, we notified our franchisee, who quickly investigated and terminated all employees involved.
“The franchisee is also meeting with their team to conduct training to help prevent anything like this from ever happening again.”
— DJ First Class™ 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) July 6, 2020
Despite the apology, users online tweeted that they were disgusted by Jimmy John’s, and the hashtag #BoycottJimmyJohns started trending nationwide on July 6. One person tweeted, “The thing about me is I’mma boycott these places [for real]. [I don’t give a f***] if all my friends and family eat there. Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, Jimmy Johns, f*** all of them. I’ll take my coins to a local place or cook food in my house.”
Jimmy John Liautaud, the Owner of the Sandwich Shop Chain, Is a Trump Supporter
Employees at Jimmy Johns made a noose out of bread dough to mock the lynching of Black Americans.
A subtle reminder that the founder of Jimmy Johns, Jimmy John Liautaud, is a huge Trump supporter. pic.twitter.com/naLZivxXwT
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) July 6, 2020
Jimmy John’s, which was founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983, is headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, and now has over 2,000 locations nationwide.
Liautaud, the billionaire businessman behind the sandwich franchise, recently caught heat after it was reported the donated $100,000 to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020. According to Forbes, the campaign gift, which was made in the name of his wife, Leslie Liautaud, went toward Trump’s fundraising committees. In 2016, they also contributed to Trump’s campaign with a donation of $446,500.
Other billionaires that have donated to Trump’s re-election campaign include Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, hedge funder John Paulson, casino magnates Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, Texas banker Andy Beal and former Franklin Templeton chief Charles B. Johnson.