An Illinois employee of KFC has been fired after being caught yelling homophobic slurs at a gay couple in the drive-through. The video went viral at the end of February.
The video was taken and posted by Joshua Garner to his Facebook page. He and his partner, Lee Walls, were trying to pick up an order for DoorDash.
At the start of the video, they were trying to verify an order had been canceled before leaving the drive-through.
That's when the employee started calling them names.
WARNING: homophobic slurs
KFC employee in Illinois hurls homophobic slurs from a drive thru https://t.co/qThvc4fJJS— Fifty Shades of Whey (@Fifty Shades of Whey)1614275271.0
Walls was at the KFC driver-through trying to pick up an order for a customer when he was told the order wasn't available. So he called the customer to see what else they may want to order instead.
The video starts with the couple in the car trying to figure out the situation with the order, while the employees of the KFC are trying to get the car to move out of the drive-through lane. It was then that the situation escalated.
Walls told KHQA News:
"They just started to get very angry, very quickly. It seemed like everyone was taking turns to come to the window and yell at us."
The couple started recording the interaction right before the KFC employee, identified as Payton Burke, started calling the couple homophobic slurs.
It was not something great to see on camera.
It is genuinely heartbreaking that there are still people out there who would publically display homophobic acts. A… https://t.co/bOFkaFyOx6— Nantha (@Nantha)1614393959.0
Imagine what he does with people's food! https://t.co/XxmQcFGRwY— NatureIsMyChurch (@NatureIsMyChurch)1614301069.0
@NYDailyNews Again what is wrong with people today too much intolerance. Why do people hate LGBT individuals who ar… https://t.co/FYA7aeuahh— Amber Puga MS (@Amber Puga MS)1614381868.0
@TheAdvocateMag Sheesh. 22 years ago the KFC in Abilene Texas kicked me and my friends out for being gay. Get your crap together @kfc.— Michael Sawyer (@Michael Sawyer)1614400094.0
Garner tried calling the police while Burke kept calling the couple names.
Eventually the manager came up and closed the window. The couple said the incident left them shaken.
Walls told WAND News:
"I have done two tours in Afghanistan and I have seen some crazy things, but never have I had it where I freeze up, and I just freeze up."
After making contact with police a disturbance report was filed for the incident.
As usual, there were those online who tried to defend the employee or say we don't know what happened before the camera started rolling.
But there is no excuse for hate speech.
@Local12 Is there more to the story before the clip? Customer is king and everyone deserves good polite service.— Fantasy Football Hall of Fame (@Fantasy Football Hall of Fame)1614476383.0
@GAKechnie @davenewworld_2 Hey dummy, without the camera there would be no proof. People like you would just deny… https://t.co/45lBByfPWk— KES From Odo Island (@KES From Odo Island)1614277509.0
@keith2040 @nypost He won’t get unemployment..he was fired.— Tennent Simpson (@Tennent Simpson)1614441384.0
@IshmaelStarfor @davenewworld_2 That argument doesn’t work here. The doordashers in the car said they really were g… https://t.co/l53AVLF8f1— 🌸 Diann w/ no e. 🌸 (@🌸 Diann w/ no e. 🌸)1614276844.0
KFC was quickly tagged in many posts online and asked what they were going to do about this situation.
They responded saying:
"KFC does not tolerate discrimination of any kind in its restaurants. The behavior of the team member in this video is completely unacceptable, and the team member has been terminated."
It was also reported other employees were suspended pending an investigation.
Pretty sure the employee doesn't find this situation so funny anymore.
@kfc When did you start serving buckets of bigots? https://t.co/VRhIzERdK2— Vincent (@Vincent)1614275584.0
@CherieWilliams @Go1337Go @kfc Eleven slurs and spices— Daniel (@Daniel)1614275974.0
@nypost He may have just earned the keynote speaker slot at next year's CPAC.— Rudy (@Rudy)1614393622.0
@nypost You sure it wasn’t Chic Fil A?— The White Larry Bird (@The White Larry Bird)1614439747.0
Before you start thinking it might be time to switch your fried chicken fast food of choice, there aren't a lot of safe places.
Earlier this year, a man was accosted by three White men hurling racial slurs at him, in a parking lot at Popeye's. The incident was recorded on video, and one of the men tried to offer a half hearted apology after the video went viral and they were caught.
And if you don’t know Chick-fil-A's history with bigotry...