Taco Bell has released a statement on Thursday (June 18) following the firing of Denzel Skinner, an employee at an Ohio location who was let go for wearing a Black Lives Matter face mask to work.
“We are deeply upset by the incident that took place in Youngstown, OH. Denzel Skinner should never have been put in this position,” the statement reads. “We believe the Black Lives Matter movement is a human rights issue and not a political one.”
The statement continued, “We do not tolerate racism or violence against the Black community and we demand inclusivity. We know we still have a long way to go and we will make serious, tangible changes. We have been in conversations with Denzel and our franchisees to make sure our actions represent our words. We will hold ourselves accountable.”
Skinner uploaded a video of himself arguing back and forth about the mask with an unidentified woman who said that mask was against company policy. In the clip, he says, “This is crazy. All because I’ve got a Black Lives Matter mask on, I’m losing my job.”
“You just fired me because I got a Black Lives Matter [mask] on,” he continued. The woman answered, “You can’t bring politics into the building.”
“Bro, I’m not bringing politics in — this is what I’m standing for. How is this considered politics?” he replied. “I’m not taking it off.”
“Well then, there’s nothing I can do for you,” she answered. She also stated that she didn’t have a problem with the mask, but “it’s a company thing.”
Just a few weeks ago, the company released a statement saying that they were “committed to being part of long-term solutions” in the fight against racial inequality. After video of Skinner’s firing went viral, social media users called for a boycott against the company. “RIP Taco Bell” trended globally.
See Taco Bell’s full statement and Skinner’s video below.
this sickens me. the fact that this lady said she gets it BLOWS MY MIND . SHE WILL NEVER EVER GET IT . SHE WONT EVER UNDERSTAND HOW HURT WE FEEL . SHE WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THE FEAR IN OUR EYES WHEN STEP OUTSIDE #RIPTacoBell #BOYCOTTTACOBELL #tacobell #tacobellpartyisover pic.twitter.com/vHYTGdduQP— rudy (@rudyswervoo) June 18, 2020