A gay pastor has accused a Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas of inappropriately writing a gay slur on his cake. The white cake had a message on it, drawn in blue icing, that reads “LOVE WINS” across the top, and then “FAG” in the center.
Pastor Jordan Brown’s legal representatives posted a video of his claim. Brown called the incident “discrimination” and questioned who had put the offensive word on the cake.
“I had [Whole Foods] write ‘LOVE WINS,'” Brown claims. “When I got into my vehicle, I looked inside and saw that they had wrote, ‘LOVE WINS FAG’ on there…. Also, [the cake] is still in a sealed box. I have not opened up this box yet. It is still sealed.”
Brown goes on to claim that he spoke with a Whole Foods employee about the text. He said the employee apologized, that he would fix the cake for Brown, and also requested that the matter be handled “internally.” Brown says he was specifically instructed “not to reach out to anybody.” The employee allegedly called back later to say nothing would be done because “his employee did not do this.”
Whole Foods posted an update on April 18 to the company’s official news site:
After a deeper investigation of Mr. Brown’s claim, we believe his accusations are fraudulent and we intend to take legal action against both Mr. Brown and his attorney. Here’s what we know:
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.
Yours Truly, Whole Foods Market
At a press conference, Jordan stated that he was “a huge fan of Whole Foods,” but went on to call the experience “humiliating” because, as “a pastor who is also openly gay, I’ve had to deal with this in the past. And literally, the feeling that I had just resurfaced a bunch of painful memories of things that had happened to me.” Asked why he had not noticed the anti-gay text in the store, Brown stated that he had ordered personalized cakes there previously without incident, and he was also in a rush.
Brown can be seen in the bottom right portion of this video paying for his cake.