McDonald’s has taken swift action to condemn the behaviour of a franchisee who was caught on camera allegedly verbally abusing a neighbour over his Indigenous heritage.
Robert Vigors, who owned McDonald’s in both Mildura and Irymple, was filmed in the confrontation with his neighbour in a video that was posted to Twitter over the weekend.
In the video, a woman named “Karen”, believed to be the partner of Vigors, can be seen attempting to pull down an Aboriginal flag outside of artist Robby Wirramanda’s house. She can be heard saying “get this shit down.”
Wirramanda shouts “It’s too strong for you Karen”, which has since turned into the trending hashtag #toostrongforyoukaren.
“You’re a racist pig,” Wirramanda says to Karen.
Vigors is then seen pointing to the camera and telling Wirramanda: “Which 1% of you is Aboriginal, mate? You’ve got nothing in you that’s Aboriginal.”
“Which half of you is Aboriginal? You are not Aboriginal,” Karen said.
“You claiming to be Aboriginal? You make me laugh. People like you make a mockery of true Aboriginals,” Robert Vigors said.
“What’s a true Aboriginal?” Wirramanda said.
WTF!!!! THIS HAPPENED TO MY PARENTS JUST LAST NIGHT pic.twitter.com/MqFfXgmV3z
— Beautifuldeadly Decolonisation (@toostrong4karen) December 13, 2019
The couple eventually leave Wirramanda’s property.
“Go and live in your f***ing humpty down the river,” Karen says as she walks off.
In a statement, McDonald’s said: “McDonald’s confirms the company has taken over the operation of the Mildura and Irymple restaurants, effective immediately, and Robert Vigors has left the system and is no longer involved.
“McDonald’s will be engaging with its employees regarding the change in arrangements, to ensure the ongoing operation of the restaurants.”
We need more large corporations like @McDonalds with zero tolerance policies when it comes to racism. This is a victory for mob everywhere. I only hope there have been no young Blackfullas working there under him. #toostrongforyoukaren pic.twitter.com/YPuoThQa4L
— Madeline Hayman-Reber (@MadelineHayman) December 15, 2019
Shout out to my very first employer @McDonalds who taught me the figure 8 mopping motion when I was 14, and who today taught racists in so-called Australia that their disgusting behaviour wouldn’t be accepted by this brand 👊🏽 You’ve taken a stand, and we see it. Thank you 🖤 pic.twitter.com/zuRoUVsg26
— Amy Thunig (@AmyThunig) December 15, 2019