Whole Foods is suing a gay Texas pastor who accused the chain of selling him a customized cake with the homophobic slur "fag" written on it.
The company is seeking $10,000 in damages because they claim Jordan Brown acted "with malice, and he has damaged the reputation and business of WFM.”
Brown published a video on Monday that claimed he requested a custom cake from a Whole Foods in Austin with "Love Wins" written on it, and that the bakery returned the cake with the homophobic slur written below it. He claims he didn't notice it until he was in his car, stopped at a red light. At a press conference on Monday, he announced that he was suing the company for emotional distress.
The company released footage from the moment Brown, the pastor, purchased the cake. The chain is claiming that Brown allegedly wrote the homophobic slur on the cake himself because their video shows that the UPC label was on the top of the box, and a YouTube video posted by Brown showed the UPC label on the side of the box. They claimed it was evident because the cashier is shown scanning the code on the top of the box.
Whole Foods filed a countersuit, claiming that Brown "intentionally, knowingly and falsely accused Whole Foods and its employees of writing the homophobic slur… on a custom made cake that he ordered from WFM’s Lamar Store in Austin…," reports the Austin American-Statesman.
The chain denied any wrongdoing, claiming it would have been impossible for a team member to include a slur on a cake because they have a strict policy that "prohibits team members from accepting or designing bakery orders that include language or images that are offensive.”
In a statement, the company says the custom cake was created by an LGBTQ bakery team member. "We appreciate the appreciate the team members and shoppers who recognize that this claim is completely false and directly contradicts Whole Foods Market’s inclusive culture, which celebrates diversity,” the company said.
Watch surveillance footage of Brown purchasing the cake at an Austin Whole Foods below.