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Whole Foods is using security footage to sue a gay pastor for an unlikely reason

Whole Foods cake
Whole Foods cake

(Court documents)

Whole Foods is suing a pastor who claimed that the grocery chain sold him a cake decorated with a homophobic slur.

Jordan Brown, an openly gay pastor at Austin’s Church of Open Doors, posted a video last week claiming that the cake he bought at Whole Foods was decorated with the words "Love Wins F--."

"When I got into my vehicle, I looked inside and saw they had wrote ‘Love Wins F--’ on it," Brown said in the video. "You can see it nice and clear. Also, it is still in a sealed box. As you see, I have not opened up this box yet."

The video went viral online and he filed a lawsuit alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"Pastor Jordan spent the remainder of the day in tears," the suit reads. "The potential for racial, sexual, religious, and anti-LGBT slurs to be written on personalized cakes is high, and Whole Foods knew or should have known that slurs or harassing messages could be written on cakes and then presented to a customer without any oversight or prior warning."

But Whole Foods claims in a countersuit that its employees didn't write the slur on the cake, the Statesman reports.

Whole Foods pastor
Whole Foods pastor

A screenshot from Jordan Brown's video about the cake.

The suit claims Brown “intentionally, knowingly and falsely accused Whole Foods and its employees of writing the homophobic slur … on a custom made cake that he ordered from WFM’s Lamar Store in Austin.”

The company also released a statement saying it reviewed security footage and determined that Brown had tampered with the cake.

“After a deeper investigation of Mr. Brown’s claim, we believe his accusations are fraudulent and we intend to take legal action against both Mr. Brown and his attorney,” the company wrote.

Whole Foods said:

  • “Our bakery team member wrote ‘Love Wins’ at the top of the cake, which was visible to Mr. Brown through the clear portion of the packaging. That’s exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store. Whole Foods Market has a strict policy that prohibits team members from accepting or designing bakery orders that include language or images that are offensive.

  • “Mr. Brown admits that he was in sole possession and control of the cake until he posted his video, which showed the UPC label on the bottom and side of the box.

  • “After reviewing our security footage of Mr. Brown, it’s clear that the UPC label was in fact on top of the cake box, not on the side of the package. This is evident as the cashier scans the UPC code on top of the box.”

The company also released a video of Brown checking out to prove that the label on the cake box was on top of the box. You can see Brown checking out in the bottom-right side of the video.

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