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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.

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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
1.

Wow ...    

A misguided employee, really? Hopefully said employee is no longer there. What size is the donation they are offering? Don't bother unless it is substantial, otherwise it sounds like a good way to make up for the "misunderstanding".

580 days ago
2.

Steve    

Run Forest Run

580 days ago
3.

Kelly    

So... What did he steal?

580 days ago
4.

Mayu    

Employees are so stupid sometimes. YOU CAN NOT ACCUSE SOMEONE OF THEFT - and Frisking someone if you are not trained security or police is called illegal detainment. Regular jags are not allowed to frisk someone. The most you can do is if you suspect someone is stealing, you get their description, get away car if possible, and call the police. If they set off an alarm you have the right to ask to look inside the bags. if they say no... you call the cops. Its idiots like this that almost cost my mom her life. My mom was very sick and we went to check out so I could take her to the hospital (she refused to leave without her socks.) This old ass woman accused my mom of stealing picture frames (how she could do that without the person packing the bags knowing, considering picture frames are on the other side of the building is beyond me.) the old b!tch searched her bags and only found socks, underwear and a pair of pajamas. Eventually I called 911 to get an ambulance to the store only to find out my mom's blood sugar was 700... she almost fell into a diabetic coma and this retard was holding us up. I made sure her old ass was fired.

580 days ago
5.

tgrfan42069    

im sick of this ****.if you suspect a black guy is stealing something you better not say a word and just let them go.because if you do bring it up and he has nothing on him.you will then become a racist.this store shouldnt donate ****.it was a misunderstanding also forrest let the employee frisk him knowing the guy wasnt a cop.****ers need to get over themselves and quit playing victim every time someone does their job

580 days ago
6.

Sparky    

This is NOT the first time this has happened at this Deli. It's the first time they pulled it on a well known famous person that has clout. Get ready for the lawsuits they are a coming!

580 days ago
7.

Jackie    

HUH??.....If it was an ordinary person, would they apologize and offer to donate money? Stop building these celebs ego.

580 days ago
8.

Pete    

boycott the place till it closes

580 days ago
9.

Cheryl A.    

NOT racially motivated, my ass. He did not take a damn thing and who does this (hopefully former) employee think he is?

580 days ago
10.

Spicy mag    

After he got frisked, Forrest tried to hail a cab but was unsuccessful.

580 days ago
11.

Lee    

If this deli is known for pulling this kind of crap, why do people continue to go there? Vote with your $$$ folks. The employee should be required to go to some kind of sensitivity training at the very least. This is not a small thing and it is not at all funny. You can NOT put your hands on another person!!!! It is assault and battery. Too bad he didn't get his cajones rearranged..............like to the back of his throat!!!!!!

580 days ago
12.

Stiletto    

Once again...props to Mr. Whitaker...a class act all the way!

580 days ago
13.

Mrugowsky    

F.W. shouldn't even dignify the gesture by responding. The whole thing was stupid. The store has already embarrassed itself and lost business because of the incident.

580 days ago
14.

snowboardchick    

Why should the store suffer? It wasn't management. It was an idiot that worked for them and the are trying to make it right. Sh!t happens. Get over it.

580 days ago
15.

ACE DEUCEY    

Flag all spamming idiots like Fopaduta.

580 days ago
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