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Another Gay Slur Scandal

June 18, 2011

In an incident that sounds eerily similar to one that occurred in a New York Starbucks recently, two shoppers in a Washington DC Safeway grocery store were subjected to the use of a gay slur by a store employee and half-hearted attempts to investigate the incident. 

On June 11, Jason Morgan and his partner Brendan Harrington walked into their local Safeway to buy dinner. They were putting their groceries on the conveyer belt when the cashier said, "Oh God, they're f****ts." The two men asked her to repeat what she said, thinking they must have misheard her, and she repeated the slur. They eventually located an assistant manager, but were told there was nothing to do. 

A day later the men received a call from the assistant manager saying, "We're really sorry about what happened, but we're still trying to figure out how to handle it."

Safeway issued a formal apology to the couple several days later. "We value everybody as a customer and we want everyone to feel welcome at Safeway regardless of their ethnicity, [or] whatever the case may be. We're here to serve people and that should be our only task." Meanwhile, a local neighbor tracked down the cashier and obtained a brief apology from her (seen below). 

Shortly afterward, the company issued a second statement and announced the employee had been fired

What do you think of this incident? Should Safeway have done more?

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