Dairy Queen Shuts Down Franchisee After Racist Rant

Illinois location shut down, franchisee banned
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2017 7:18 PM CST
Updated Jan 14, 2017 6:00 PM CST
A Dairy Queen is shown Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in Nelsonville, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Dairy Queen has given the boot to one of its franchisees after he allegedly unleashed a racist tirade against a customer. Deianeira Ford visited a Zion, Ill., DQ on Wednesday with her two young children and asked for a refund after her order was mixed up. Owner James Crichton gave her one, though she says he also started yelling at her. "He called me and my children n------," Ford tells the Washington Post. "He said I can go back to where I came from." She called 911 and the responding officer spoke to Crichton, who, per the police report, "proudly admitted to calling Ford a n-----" and ranted about his other black customers. But since he hadn't committed a crime, there was nothing police could do. It ended up being Ford's own Facebook post that resulted in big consequences for Crichton.

Her post about the incident went viral, and on Saturday, dozens of demonstrators gathered—initially, they planned to protest the store and call for a boycott, the Lake County News-Sun reports. Instead, the gathering was a celebration, because on Friday Dairy Queen announced it was shutting down the location and terminating Crichton's franchise rights. DQ called Crichton's actions "inexcusable, reprehensible, and unacceptable," and Crichton himself apologized via a DQ statement. (Crichton had previously told the News-Sun Ford's story was "99% lies.") Ford's attorney tells the Post that legal action may still be taken against Dairy Queen, because since Ford came forward, other customers and employees of that location have shared similar stories. (A shopper's tirade got her banned from JCPenney.)

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