While on the job, a foodservice worker at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo posted a message about her clientele in a public post on social media that was criticized as racist. It wasn’t long before she was fired for it.
The young woman going by the name “Shana Roohpooh Latrice at Brookfield Zoo” on Instagram posted a photo of herself in her employee uniform at work at the zoo with a nasty caption reading, “Wassup ya’all? At work serving all these rude ass white people.”
Word quickly spread to zoo officials, who took what they called “prompt action” by firing the young woman.
“We do not tolerate this behavior,” zoo spokeswoman Sondra Katzen said.
In a Facebook post, the zoo apologized to patrons.
Yesterday, we became aware of the actions of a single employee which we agree are unacceptable. This employee’s statements in social media are in violation of our policies and do not reflect our institution’s values. We have zero tolerance for these kinds of divisive behaviors. We treat all employment matters confidentially but please know that we took prompt action to remedy the situation this morning.
We hope you continue to hold Brookfield Zoo in high regard and not let the actions of one individual overshadow the longstanding good work of the Chicago Zoological Society.
Officials called the fired employee a “seasonal employee” and noted she was not a full-time, long-term worker.
A photo of the employee’s social media posting was re-posted to the zoo’s Facebook page and before the day was out had received over 6,000 shares and 7,300 likes.
Many commenters called for the woman to be fired, and some said they would refrain from visiting the zoo unless she was. Still, while hundreds of posts called for the woman’s termination, some insisted that it was “just a mistake,” and that she should be reprimanded but not fired.
After she was fired Shana went back to her own social media and defiantly proclaimed, “I know what I am & racist is not one of em.”
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