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Forest Whitaker

Deli APOLOGIZES

We're Not Racist

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

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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.

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108 COMMENTS

No Avatar
46.

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 :)

520 days ago
47.

Kim    

Mr. Whitaker should buy the deli and train the employees on diversity.

520 days ago
48.

verlinda    

Another George Zimmerman...playing Cop

520 days ago
49.

Langston    

Test

520 days ago
50.

Cynic    

this deli owner seems like the real douche of the story

520 days ago
51.

NOT ELMO    

he is sooo beautiful....

520 days ago
52.

Quinn    

Nice title. Deli Apologizes. We're not racist. Stellar.

520 days ago
53.

Dee    

Gimme a break. He searched him because he just knew, a black man in that deli, must definitely be up to no good. Idiot.

520 days ago
54.

MaLi    

Please read the whole story before typing your misinformed comments!😡

520 days ago
55.

anita    

I'd be interested in hearing the former employee's side of the story.

520 days ago
56.

Dr Samuel Weiscrak    

Towelie sayz He got fired? why did he get fired. Oh that's right he's an idiot that's why he got fired. Sorry i'm high.

520 days ago
57.

pattycake    

chimpy

520 days ago
58.

robin    

He should have sued them. They would think before doing that to anyone else. It had to be a common thing with them.

520 days ago
59.

Comptonized    

Hahahaha u better recognize who this man is!!!

520 days ago
60.

goaway    

Isolated incident ...1st time it happened and it happened to be a Hollywood Star...Yeah Right!

520 days ago
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