An Arizona man has been fired as the as the chief financial officer and treasurer of a medical equipment manufacturer in Tucson after he posted video of himself telling a Chick-fil-A drive-thru employee that she worked for a "horrible company."
In a statement released on Thursday, Vante said that it respected "the right of our employees and all Americans to hold and express their personal opinions," but it was firing CFO/Treasurer Adam Smith anyway.
On Wednesday, Smith had protested "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" by filming himself ordering a free water.
"You know why I'm getting my free water, right?" he asked the woman at the drive-true. "Because Chick-fil-A is a hateful corporation."
"I disagree," the employee replied. "We don't treat any of our customers differently."
"I know, but the corporation gives money to hate groups. Hate groups. Just because people want to kiss another guy," Smith insisted. "I don't believe corporations should be giving money to hateful groups. I'll take my water."
"It's my pleasure to serve you, always," the employee said.
"Oh, of course I'm glad that I can take a little bit of money from Chick-fil-A, and maybe less money to hate groups," Smith continued. "I don't know how you live with yourself and work here. I don't understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better."
Before pulling away from the drive-thru, Smith added, "I'm a nice guy, by the way. And I'm totally heterosexual, not a gay in me. I just can't stand the hate, you know? It's got to stop, guys."
After conservative websites labeled Smith as a "bully," Vante issued a press release saying that he was no longer employed by the company.
"Vante regrets the unfortunate events that transpired yesterday in Tucson between our former CFO/Treasurer Adam Smith and an employee at Chick-fil-A," the company wrote. "The actions of Mr. Smith do not reflect our corporate values in any manner. Vante is an equal opportunity company with a diverse workforce, which holds diverse opinions. We respect the right of our employees and all Americans to hold and express their personal opinions, however, we also expect our company officers to behave in a manner commensurate with their position and in a respectful fashion that conveys these values of civility with others."
"We hope that the general population does not hold Mr. Smith's actions against Vante and its employees," Vante said.
But Tucson Citizen blogger Tip O'Neil argued that he couldn't find any "bullying" in the video.
"We all know that the chick fil a appreciation day is all about supporting 'the first amendment' and 'free speech,'" O'Neil noted. "As long as the speech is anti-gay, of course. Otherwise it’s free speech for me but not for thee, at least at the Tucson company Vante."
(h/t: Joe My God)