Four employees of a Jimmy John’s location in Woodstock, Georgia, have been fired after one employee posted a video online last weekend of a coworker fashioning a noose out of bread dough and slipping it around another employee’s head. The person filming the video, as well as another coworker watching and filming the incident, can be heard laughing along with the two workers playing with the dough noose.
The video was originally posted to Snapchat, though it quickly made the leap to Twitter, where it went viral. All employees in the video appear to be white teenagers, and the Snapchat video was posted with a filter reading “Happy 4th of July.”
In response to public outcry, the Jimmy John’s Twitter account posted a statement on Monday condemning the actions depicted in the video and noted that the offending employees had been fired.
What is there to say about this besides the obvious? The image of a noose is classified as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. Its use should not be joked about in a cavalier manner, nor played for laughs, nor posted to social media, nor emblazoned with a celebratory Fourth of July banner, nor brushed off as teens simply goofing off at work. Hopefully the new employee training undertaken by this franchise will prove effective, and that being fired serves as any sort of wake-up call to the former employees.
This incident has also revived the social media hashtag #boycottjimmyjohns, which first appeared after it was revealed that JJ’s founder Jimmy John Liautaud had, in the past, hunted elephants and other African game for sport and more recently donated $100,000 to Trump’s reelection campaign. Liautaud also serves on the president’s Great American Economic Revival Industry Group for the Food and Beverage sector.