- A video of Jimmy John’s employees creating a noose out of dough and pretending to hang a worker, while laughing, went viral over the 4th of July weekend.
- “We have zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form,” Jimmy John’s said on Twitter. “The franchisee has taken immediate action and the employees have been terminated.”
- People are also criticizing Jimmy John’s founder James John Liautaud, who is a major Trump donor and has faced controversy in the past for his big game hunting hobby.
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Jimmy John’s has fired a group of employees after a video emerged of the workers creating a noose made out of bread dough.
A video of the incident shows one employee helping place a noose made out of bread dough around the neck of another worker at a Jimmy John’s location in Woodstock, Georgia. The employees, as well as at least one other worker at the sandwich shop, all appear to be laughing and joking as the noose is tightened around the worker’s neck.
The video was posted on Snapchat with a filter reading “Happy 4th of July.” As the video was shared on social media, it quickly prompted backlash and disgust.
—Ryan Guillory Sr. 💫💫 🇺🇸 (@Mr_RyanGuillory) July 5, 2020
Jimmy John’s said in a statement that the employees involved have been fired.
“We have zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form,” Jimmy John’s said in a tweet. “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.”
—Jimmy John’s (@jimmyjohns) July 5, 2020
Liautaud has faced controversy in the past over his big game hunting hobby, which included hunting elephants and rhinoceros. More recently, Liautaud and his wife have supported President Trump’s campaign, with a $100,000 to the president’s reelection.
—Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) July 6, 2020
While the sandwich chain is named after him and highlights his role as founder, Liautaud no longer owns Jimmy John’s. Liautaud sold his remaining Jimmy John’s shares last year when Inspire Brands, which also owns Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Sonic, acquired the sandwich chain.
“As part of this acquisition, Jimmy John Liautaud stepped down as chairman, and he no longer leads the company,” Inspire Brands representative Jack D’amato told Business Insider. “His interests and political affiliations are as a private citizen, and we will have to defer any comments to him.”
Amid recent Black Lives Matter protests, there have been numerous sightings of nooses, a racist symbol associated with the lynchings of Black people. Home Depot recently changed the way US locations sell rope after a woman said she found two nooses in the aisle of a store.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had some instances where spooled rope was used to create hate symbols and we’re not going to tolerate it,” Home Depot spokesperson Margaret Watters Smith said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we temporarily removed spooled rope from our aisles.”