Four employees at a Jimmy John’s franchise in Woodstock, Georgia have been fired over a video they filmed for social media of them playing with a noose they fashioned out of bread dough.
The video was first posted to the Snapchat account of a user named Riley:)), who is believed to be the one filming the video.
It then bounced to Instagram and Twitter where it went viral.
Employees at Jimmy Johns made a noose out of bread dough to mock the lynching of Black Americans.
A subtle reminder that the founder of Jimmy Johns, Jimmy John Liautaud, is a huge Trump supporter. pic.twitter.com/naLZivxXwT
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) July 6, 2020
The video shows an employee placing the noose around the neck of another employee while two other employees film it.
It includes a “Happy 4th of July” graphic overlaid on the screen. It is difficult to understand what is being said in the video, but many feel the intentions of the stunt are clear: to mock the historic practice of lynching Black people.
The use of nooses as a “message” to Blacks during the age of Jim Crow laws is well documented. Since then, the symbolism has led to FBI and Justice Department investigations as civil rights violations. The United States Justice Department has prosecuted cases where nooses are displayed in work areas citing their purpose is to intimidate BIPOC employees.
Jimmy John’s released a statement condemning the video on Twitter.
— Jimmy John's (@jimmyjohns) July 6, 2020
The statement confirmed that disciplinary action was taken.
All employees involved with the video, as well as a manager, were terminated and others would be receiving training pertaining to the incident.
“The franchisee is also meeting with their team to conduct training to help prevent anything like this from happening ever again.”
Jimmy John’s also responded to the video itself in a tweet, which read:
“We have zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form. 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.”
On Twitter, people were outraged by the incident.
I’ve eaten my last Jimmy Johns sub. Anyone else? Despicable. #boycottJimmyJohns
— Cheryl Slagle (@ggslagle) July 6, 2020
I will never spend a $ or a ¢ in @jimmyjohns again. They were an office go-to for my staff. No more.
I used to get a sandwich at @jimmyjohns after getting a haircut, until today.
— Justin Avery Smith (@JustAVerySmith) July 6, 2020
Trump's racism is contagious. Can America afford 4 more years of Trump spreading his racism?
— mountainviews (@mountainviews) July 6, 2020
Fortunately, being fired these days is actually a really good punishment. They will not be entitled to unemployment benefits either and will likely spend a few months in the queue of foodbanks, and hopefully karma will do its thing and they will also lose their homes.
— HopefulExpat (@umsoob) July 6, 2020
SMDH. I'm so sick of people saying that the orange one is transforming people into racists. NOPE. He's just making them bolder. The fact that they are taping a "play lynching" at work is peak white privilege and we all should boycott until they are fired. #JimmyJohns
— BLACK TZEDEK (@BlackTzedek) July 6, 2020
Their parent must be so proud.
— StevenThomas (@StevenJ_Thomas) July 5, 2020
And many were unconvinced by Jimmy John’s response to the video.
Who needs training to know this is bad
— Cheek (@CheekfromQueens) July 6, 2020
Maybe @benandjerrys can show you how to write a better statement because this ain’t it.
— Jasmin | (@jasserravalle) July 6, 2020
Seems like it does represent your company…..https://t.co/v6jiWQ3BsZ
— EOG (@roamwith_me) July 6, 2020
Jimmy John’s has previously been embroiled in controversy due to its billionaire founder, James John Liautaud, being an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, including financial donations to his reelection campaign.