My favorite hilarious take on the Whole Foods Homophobic Hate Hoax is the Twitter-posted photo of the pepperoni pizza with the word "FAG" superimposed on the image in fake blue icing. "This isn't the pizza I ordered,' tweeted the poster, who calls himself Sleepy Poptart. (Trigger warning: some of the reply tweets are kinda NSFW.)
It's about time that one of those phony hate crimes that almost invariably turns out to be the handiwork of the self-styled victim got laughed out of the court of public opinion.
And even better, the Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas, promptly filed a $100,000 counter-suit against an openly gay pastor who had posted a video claiming that a Whole Foods employee had added the word "FAG" to the center of a cake that Brown had ordered bearing the gay-rights slogan "LOVE WINS" in squeeze-inscribed blue icing. The Austin American-Statesman reports:
Whole Foods also released its security footage video from its North Lamar Boulevard flagship store that it says contradicts the man’s claims that the store included the slur on the “Love Wins” cake he ordered.
Whole Foods on Tuesday said it has investigated and said the man, Jordan Brown, made fraudulent claims. Brown filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods.
In a countersuit filed in state district court in Travis County, Whole Foods says 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…”
The suit denies those claims, and accuses Brown of acting “with malice, and he has damaged the reputation and business of WFM.”
The lawsuit seeks at least $100,000 in damages from Brown.
Brown had earlier been holding quite the pity party for himself. He Twitter-posted a purported photo of the cake with its offensive word, tweeting, "That's not the cake I ordered."
Brown is openly gay and is the founder of Church of Open Doors, a non-denominational Christian and LGBT-welcoming church in Southeast Austin. The message brought back memories of being bullied and humiliated over his sexual orientation, Brown said.
“This has been extremely offensive and humiliating,” he said.
Later that day, Brown spoke with a store employee about the incident, the lawsuit said. The employee eventually told him he had concluded the store had not done anything wrong, according to the lawsuit.
Brown’s attorney Austin Kaplan said they filed a lawsuit at the Travis County District court Monday after several days of unsuccessful attempts to reach the Whole Foods corporate and legal offices.
“It’s all the more frustrating and disappointing for this to happen with a company that professes to have the kind of values of inclusion, equality and tolerance that we share,” Kaplan said. “This cake contained a slur directed at the LGBT community, but the next could contain slurs directed at different races, religions, or national origins.”…
In the lawsuit, Brown is requesting a jury trial and is seeking unspecified damages and monetary relief for mental anguish, court costs and other expenses.
“I’m horrified that this has happened and I’m hopeful that through my actions I can protect others in the Austin LGBT community,” he said.
And as the website Got Religion reports, more than 50 credulous jjouirnalists for such news out lets as CBS and the New York Daily News duly pulled their chins and went with Brown's versionof the gay-slur cake frosting..
In response to Brown's allegations, Whole Foods pointed out that the employee who had written the "LOVE WINS" inscription onto the top of the pre-frosted cake was actually a "member of the LGBT community" and that other employees had witnessed that no anti-gay slurs were added.
But the real clincher to Whole Foods's case was this:
The retailer went on to say Brown admitted 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 their 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,” Whole Foods said. “This is evident as the cashier scans the UPC code on top of the box, which you can view here.”
Social Justice Warrior hoaxing is having a heyday. Whether you’re a multi-racial family surreptitiously spray-painting your own home with racist graffiti, a lesbian waitress writing fake anti-gay notes on receipts, an overweight teen falsely claiming a store clerk called you fat, or an activist sending yourself hateful tweets, never has the time been better to advance your cause using a bit of fakery.
But as the links above show, you have to be good at your game if you don’t want to be caught.
Hemingway offers some tips on how cake-hoaxers of the future can make a more convincing case than Brown apparently did. They include: Don't pick as your hate-crime perp an obviously progressive entity such as the ultra-socially conscious Whole Foods; and if, you're going to add something to a blue squeeze-inscription, make sure that your own shade of blue matches. (Many cake decorators have tweeted to say that not only did the blues not match, but the handwriting styles didn't match, either.)