TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Forest Whitaker

Deli APOLOGIZES

We're Not Racist

2/18/2013 10:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0218_forrest_milano_01

The NYC deli that accused Forest Whitaker of shoplifting last week is blaming the incident on a "misguided" employee ... and insists race was absolutely NOT a factor.

TMZ spoke with a rep for the Milano Market ... where the Academy Award winner was publicly FRISKED after he was wrongly suspected of stealing an item.

The rep tells us, "The management of Milano Market deeply regrets the wrongful actions of our employee in stopping and frisking Forest Whitaker."

"While we can not delve into the employee's mindset, we do not believe that he was racially motivated in his actions, simply misguided."

The Market says it is taking steps to retrain employees so it doesn't happen again.

And there's more ... the rep says the store wants to reach out to Forest so it could make a donation to the charity of his choice, in an effort to make things right.

update_bar
1:45 PM PT -- The shop owner just called in to TMZ Live to issue a formal apology for the incident.  He also said he FIRED the guy who frisked Forest.

021813_forest_tmzlive_launch

107 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

BB not bb    

Once an undercover agent in a department store made me unzip my jacket to see if I had anything under it before going out the door. The big creepy long haired guy said nothing when he saw that there was nothing stolen under it either. A lady walking past me gasped at how rude he was. I was mad but I didn't say anything.


It has happened elsewhere also. It happens. Sometimes people are misguided and sometimes they are rude and hateful. I guess you just clear your name and roll with it.


I feel like this store is really ashamed of how the employee treated a customer. It is not their fault directly. They are probably unaware of how rude their employees are in general to the public. I wonder if the owner ever read the Yelp reviews. I gathered some interesting information about the motives and attitudes of the help there in general.


It seems there is a Hispanic cabal working there. When a lady tried to pay $20 in cash and the rest on credit card, the clerk said to the other clerk that she wanted to punch the lady in the face.


Customers feel terrorized by these kinds of interactions. The owner better wise up before his business that he put so much effort into is ruined for the sake of his tolerance to the wrong people.

619 days ago
32.

Tracy    

Retrain, indeed. What ever gave a Deli employee the idea they had the right to frisk anyone for any reason?

619 days ago
33.

master e    

He must sue them because they problay do this all the time to blackpeople , I am a blackman an ive been proflied an watched when shopping in Manhattan many times I always walk out without buying anything when this happens to me.... sue them an give the money to a school in Harlem

619 days ago
34.

RD    

Why was race even bought up?

619 days ago
35.

Made it Past 27    

it was obiously RACIALLY motivated. He is a famous millionaire, he doesnt need to steal a pickle. Sad. Judgemental people suck!

619 days ago
36.

MS. CONCERN    

YES! RACE DID PLAY A FACTOR. THE EMPLOYER WAS NOT MIS GUIDED, HE FRISKED
MR. WHITAKER CAUSE HE WAS A BLACK MAN!

619 days ago
37.

HH    

Misguided? I wonder how many white customers he's accused, detained and frisked.....

619 days ago
38.

Gargamel    

Fire the inbred azz employee for putting the stores reputation in the toilet.

619 days ago
39.

HumanNature    

BOYCOTT THAT NYC "RACIST" DELI!!!!!!

619 days ago
40.

randomnone    

These stupid overprivilaged racist idiots have gotten away with too many repugnant behaviours!! Of course YOU instructed YOUR employees to be suspicious of all black men. If not that, why is the employee still there? Coz he will sing like a bird that's why!! Your kin will support you, sane people wont buy what you are peddling. PS your letter is SOOOO arrogant! Misguided my foot!

619 days ago
41.

BB not bb    

This is another stir the pot moment for people who want there to be racial tenseion. I heard a black DJ on the radio this morning playing it up like it was totally a racial incident of white upper east side people versus a black man. She had all the rage and attitude, but obviously never bothered to check out the facts before demanding something be done. I think she told people to boycott the store.


If people are going to fly off the handle at the N word, at being treated like just another American by the invading Hispanic army, at another black man defending himeself agaisnt a black Skittle eating burglar, there is just going to be more hatred and animosity.


Claiming white people are out to get everyone is BS.

619 days ago
42.

Gigi    

Don't treat people differently than everybody else because they are black. But make sure you do treat people differently because they are celebrities!

619 days ago
43.

Detective. LaToya    

Yeah right! They just don't want the bad press to affect their business! Why are so many white people RACIST? You all would treat a black dog, or a black cat better than you'd treat a black person! I swear all of you are inherently racist, violent and evil. I mean just take a look at the history as a race and before you talk about black people-the ones in the ghetto are that way from the effects of slavery. If white people get angry with you the first thing they'd call you is a "n1gger". Just racist. It's really amazing to me.

What would you racist white people do should you crash and your car was on fire and you were trapped? And the only person that was there to help you was black? You'd want that help!! Sickos! F*ck that deli! I hope they go out of business and that all racist burn in hell.

619 days ago
44.

lube    

they thought he was smuggling out sausage links in his pocket. Nope. It was just his bbc. The real reason behind racism. Penis envy!

619 days ago
45.

hi    

I'm surprised the employee didn't recognize him,he's rich and famous he can buy the store and the people working at the store :)

619 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web