KFC Jamaica apologises to customer called ‘battyman’ on order screen
KFC Jamaica has issued an apology after a customer was referred to with the anti-gay slur “battyman” on an order screen.
An image was posted to Twitter on Monday of the publicly-visible order screen at a KFC in Kingston, Jamaica displaying the dietary instruction “PLZ GIVE THIS BATTYMAN A BIG BREAST” below an order for a chicken box meal.
Customer says anti-gay slur was a ‘dogwhistle’
The customer wrote: “This is GROSSLY unacceptable, unfathomable, unprecedented, DANGEROUS & demonstrative of EVERYTHING that is wrong with wider Jamaican society.
“It was CLEARLY a dogwhistle aimed to resonate with the basal sensibilities of some amongst us to jeer, ridicule or even ASSAULT people whom they have NO association with.
“I could have been MOBBED or KILLED tonight!”
He added: “THIS is NEXT level… what could you POSSIBLY say to someone who has their safety THREATENED in a volatile city like Kingston in the DEAD of night??? All I wanted was chicken!!!!!”
KFC sorry for ‘unacceptable behaviour’
In a statement, KFC Jamaica confirmed “an incident where an employee demonstrated unacceptable behaviour” and said it would “sincerely apologise for this incident.”
The restaurant chain said: “Restaurants of Jamaica (ROJ) is aware that there was an incident in which an employee demonstrated unacceptable behaviour towards a customer at one of our restaurants on the night of Monday, December 30.
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“This behaviour is completely against ROJ’s company values and policy.
“We do not and shall not allow any behaviour that discriminates based on race, colour, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation in any of our activities or operations.”
The chain added: “We take a strong stance against anything that supports or perpetuates discriminatory behaviour. Our brand was built on values much similar to what binds us as Jamaican people.”
“We emphasise living these values of doing what is right, respecting others and serving our customers with nothing short of excellence.
“We recognise that our quality of service and our standards have been significantly compromised and we assure our customers that the disciplinary process will be expedited to address this behaviour. ”
It is still illegal to be gay in Jamaica under a British colonial-era law, and LGBT+ people in the country have faced violence, persecution and attacks from vigilante mobs.