Your Services Are No Longer Needed: Angry Orchard Employees Fired After Racially Profiling A Black Couple During Wedding Proposal
After a Black couple’s marriage proposal at the Angry Orchard brewery in upstate New York was completely ruined due to staff repeatedly accusing the couple and their friends of theft, the beverage company announced its decision to terminate all involved parties on Tuesday.
“We reached out and spoke directly with the guest involved to express our sincerest apology and offered to make it right,” Angry Orchard said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “We badly mishandled the situation and our team overreacted.”
Angry Orchard confirmed that several staff members were let go as a result. “We’re extremely embarrassed this happened and have taken the immediate steps to remove the manager who was on-duty from her role and replace members of the security team.”
“We’re deeply sorry that our guests were mistreated. The situation doesn’t reflect our values of respect for all and creating a welcoming environment for all our guests,” the statement concluded.
The news comes after Cathy Marie-Hamlet wrote a scathing Facebook post detailing her horrific experience on what should’ve been the happiest day of her life. Hamlet, 32, and her fiancé Clyde Jackson visited the brewery on Sunday to celebrate his 40th birthday with a group of friends. Little did she know Jackson had a surprise of his own in the form of a wedding proposal.
But the couple’s moment was ruined as they were questioned three times by security staff over a stolen T-shirt. Hamlet, who is also a doctor, said staff ordered them to empty their pockets and purses in order to prove they had not stolen any items from the brewery’s gift shop.
“If you don’t want Black People buying your product or frequenting your establishment, then maybe put a sign on the door so that we know we are not welcome. I love hard cider, but Angry Orchard will never touch these lips again,” she wrote in her Facebook post.
The company also said it plans to hold “additional training in the areas of security awareness and unconscious bias to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”