It’s About Time! Wild Wing Cafe Apologizes For Refusing Service To 25 Black Customers

September 4, 2013  |  

The Wild Wing Cafe in Charleston, SC that kicked out 25 African-American customers at the request of an uncomfortable white customer finally issued an apology after the incident went viral.

As MN previously reported, a white patron claimed they felt “threatened” by the presence of two dozen blacks at the restaurant. More keen on pleasing one Caucasian customer than nabbing business from 25 customers, the shift manager kicked the party out the door. After making several complaints to their corporate office and receiving no reply, Michael Brown — one of the 25 — took to Facebook and received a wave of support from users vowing to boycott Wild Wing Cafe.

Submerged in hot water, Wild Wing suddenly materialized from their hiding place (a month later) to attempt some damage control with this apology:

We are incredibly disappointed and sorry that any guest felt disrespected or discriminated against,” said Debra Stokes, chief marketing officer for Wild Wing Café, in a statement to theGrio. “The customers have a right to be upset with our lack of timely responsiveness. However, the color of their skin did not play a part in this situation. It was a breakdown in our own internal communication. I can assure you that we have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind and that there is a full and ongoing review of the entire incident…The incident that occurred in the restaurant is under investigation. The manager involved is on leave while we continue the investigation.

Since the restaurant didn’t address the issue until the incident went public, it’s hard to believe there’s sincerity in this apology. Either way, Brown’s tactic to get Wild Wing Cafe to acknowledge the boorish episode was successful. It’s called “brand shaming,” according to TheGrio:

[It] is a rising trend and tactic for consumers to air grievances with products and services, including perceived discrimination. With so many companies active on social media, it is fast becoming a quick way to share one’s dissatisfaction and get a response.

Brown says he doesn’t want to see the manager fired, but he would like an apology from the waitress who refused to serve them. He also asked for “company-wide sensitivity training and an outreach event, sponsored by Wild Wing Café, to promote unity in Charleston,” TheGrio added. Social media is powerful, Brown said. “I’m not an advocate for putting private issues into the public space, but discrimination on any level isn’t private and should be shared,” he added.

Do you think the Wild Wing Cafe apology was sincere?

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