The Milano Market located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan falsely accused Oscar Award-winning actor, Forest Whitaker of shoplifting last week, reports Essence.com. The way the story is being told by Whitaker’s publicist, one of the deli’s employees approached the actor as he was leaving the store and accused him of stealing. When Forest denied having stolen anything from the store, the employee prohibited him from leaving the deli and even frisked him in front of the store’s other patrons.
“This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into a deli,”the actor’s publicist told the New York Daily News.
The deli employee eventually apologized to Forest when he realized he’d made a mistake and Forest was a pretty good sport about it. He declined to file a complaint because the deli employee feared he would be fired over the incident. Instead, he took advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate to the business’s owner, the horrible manner in which they treat their customers.
“Forest asked that, in the future, the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner,” revealed his publicist.
Since the embarrassing incident, owners of the Milano Market have come forth, issuing a public statement through TMZ regarding the false accusations.
“The management of Milano Market deeply regrets the wrongful actions of our employee in stopping and frisking Forest Whitaker… While we can not delve into the employee’s mindset, we do not believe that he was racially motivated in his actions, simply misguided.”
Representatives from the deli have also promised to make a donation to the charity of Forest’s choice, in an effort to make amends for the horrible offense.
Forest is a cool guy for not making a fuss over the incident and instead using it to bring attention to the flawed behavior that many business owners exhibit towards the public, especially those who are of color.
What do you think of Forest’s reaction?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.