Whole Foods releases video countering gay slur claim

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Whole Foods has referred to a man’s claim that the store sold him a cake with an-anti gay slur as “fraudulent,” and filed a counter-suit against the man and his attorney, Tuesday.

The store claims their bakery employee wrote “Love Wins” on the cake and did not add the slur, “Love Wins F–“, at the bottom. Whole Foods released surveillance video of Jordan Brown buying the cake on April 14 at the company’s flagship store and headquarters on N. Lamar Boulevard. Brown is the pastor at the Church of Open Doors on E. Riverside Drive.

Cake that was ordered by Jordan Brown. KXAN has decided to blur the last two letters in the third word. (Courtesy: Kaplan Law Firm)

A spokesperson for Whole Foods says, in the video, you can see the UPC label on the top of the cake box. In a video uploaded by Brown after the incident, the label is seen on the side of the box. The statement from the store goes on to say, “Mr. Brown admits that he was in sole possession and control of the cake until he posted his video.”

The company’s counter-suit states that Brown’s claims amount to defamation, and seeks at least $100,000 in damages, as well as sanctions against his attorney, Austin Kaplan.

Whole Foods reiterated their support for the bakery team member, who “is part of the LGBTQ community.” At a press conference Monday, Brown, who is black, said, “Saying f– is the same as calling me a n—–.” He also said that he forgave the woman who allegedly inscribed the slur on the cake, “I’m praying for her that she would have a change of heart.”

In Brown’s lawsuit against the store, he claims he didn’t notice the added word until he was at a stop light and looked down at the cake.

Brown’s attorney responded to the video, saying, “At this time we are aware of the Whole Foods press release, the alleged security video, and the countersuit by Whole Foods against Pastor Brown, and we are currently investigating these allegations.”

Wednesday, KXAN learned that Brown was sued in March by the National Collegiate Student Loan Trust for $27,915.51 in damages for unpaid student loans, from his time at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

The full statement released by Whole Foods Tuesday:

  • Our bakery team member wrote “Love Wins” at the top of the cake, which was visible to Mr. Brown through the clear portion of the packaging. That’s exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store. Whole Foods Market has a strict policy that prohibits team members from accepting or designing bakery orders that include language or images that are offensive.
  • Mr. Brown admits that he was in sole possession and control of the cake until he posted his video, which showed the UPC label on the bottom and side of the box.
  • After reviewing our security footage of Mr. Brown, it’s clear that the UPC label was in fact on top of the cake box, not on the side of the package.  This is evident as the cashier scans the UPC code on top of the box, which you can view here .
  • We stand behind our bakery team member, who is part of the LGBTQ community, and we 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.”

Brown’s video after leaving Whole Foods

The store also released a photo of their bakery team:

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