FedEx is facing backlash on social media for allegedly firing two employees after they posted a video of an apparent racist encounter with a customer on Twitter. According to the account shared by one of the company's employees, identified as "Antonio" on Twitter, he and delivery partner Felinzay were making deliveries in Georgia when the incident took place.
'Racist' Encounter With White Customer
The pair had pulled up to a house to deliver a package and just as they were about to leave, the white customer ran out "cursing and threatening" them. Antonio said they apologized to the man but then he told them that he would "whoop [their] black asses" and instructed his wife to call the police.
The pair were about to leave when the irate customer yelled an expletive at them, which is when they started video-recording the encounter. Video footage shared by Antonio shows Felinzay arguing with the man. "You didn't have to come out there cussing me like that, like I'm some child," he says in the clip.
"I ain't no little boy." After Antonio stopped recording, police arrived at the scene and when questioned, the white male told officers that the pair looked "like they would've [broken] into my house while my wife [was] there," as tweeted by Antonio.
Antonio re-uploaded the footage on Wednesday, May 20 with an update stating that FedEx had fired both him and his partner and told him to take down the video clip, which has amassed nearly seven million views.
FedEx is now facing criticizm for firing Antonio and Felinzay over the viral video with many calling for the boycott of the delivery services giant using the hashtag #BoycottFedex, which is now trending on Twitter.
"@Fedex should be doing everything it can to protect its workers from this sort of racist harassment," wrote Criminal Defense and Civil Rights attorney, Rebecca Kavanaugh. "Workers are literally putting their lives on the line during the pandemic (and quite honestly in dealing with people like this). This response is shameful."
In the wake of the controversy, FedEx issued a statement on Twitter, saying: "We are aware of the incident in GA that led to the release of two drivers employed by a service provider. We're offering employment while investigating to ensure an appropriate outcome. We take seriously allegations of discrimination, retaliation, or improper employment actions."
However, social media users are not satisfied with the company's response and are questioning why the employees were fired in the first place. "You chose to fire two employees before you even looked into it," wrote one user. "If Twitter didn't exist you wouldn't even think twice about it."
"You should have NEVER FIRED THEM! The need to be rehired with a bonus or incentive to accommodate them for the emotional trauma they occurred, commented another. "This was ridiculous for you to fire them.
A social media website set up a GoFundMe page for the fired drivers, and it has already raised more than $76,000 in donations.