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Olive Garden found itself in hot water after one of the chain’s employees told African-American comedian Ricky Smith that she “doesn’t serve blacks.” According to the New York Daily News, the Italian restaurant chain has issued an apology to Smith and gave him $6,000.

Smith encountered the racist experience while dining at one of their locations in Ohio on Tuesday. According to reports, the waitress told him and his friends that she “didn’t like serving Blacks.” Smith alerted the manager and asked for a new waiter. When the manager refused, he asked them to call the police. An employee at the restaurant allegedly called the cops and told them that Smith sexually harassed someone and was ordering drinks for minors. Police later arrived at the restaurant and removed Smith.

Following the incident, Olive Garden’s VP of Operations called the comedian to apologize and gave him a $1,000 gift card as well as a $5,000 donation to his charity Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere. Smith is putting a positive spin on the negative experience. He will use the gift card to feed families in need. Smith took to Twitter to share the news. “He, on behalf of Olive Garden apologized for what happened to me and my friends yesterday,” he tweeted. “. @olivegarden is making a sizable donation @RAKENow #rake and in addition are giving #RAKE $1,000 in gift cards to host families in need.”

The waitress and the manager have been placed on leave as the company delves deeper into what happened. Smith shared that the two should get their jobs back. “They’re both currently on leave and I pleaded with him not to fire them over this. No need for anyone to lose their job during the holidays,” he tweeted.

SOURCE: New York Daily News


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I ‘Don’t Like Serving Blacks:’ Olive Garden Awards Comedian $6,000 After Server Comment  was originally published on