The owner of a Walk-On’s in Covington has been fired after posting a racially-charged rant on Facebook about some Halloween trick-or-treaters.
The company released the following statement Monday after the franchise owner, Brandon Hargrave, apologized for his post:
“We have built our company’s foundation on core values of inclusion and equality, and we find any actions or statements to the contrary unacceptable. As a result of recent events surrounding an offensive social media post by Walk-On’s franchisee Brandon Hargrave, Walk-On’s Enterprises is terminating its franchise relationship with Mr. Hargrave, effective immediately. Mr. Hargrave is the franchise owner of the Covington location and his franchise rights to own and operate any Walk-Ons have been terminated. The Covington location is currently operating and the staff at this location is not involved in the statements or actions of Mr. Hargrave. A transition plan for the ownership and operations of this location is currently in process. “
-Scott Taylor, Walk-On’s President & COO
Brandon Hargrave, the franchise owner, posted a video from his doorbell camera showing what appears to be several African-American children helping themselves to handfuls of Halloween candy Hargrave left on his front porch. That’s despite the fact Hargrave says he left a sign near the candy instructing each child to take just one piece of candy.
“Turn up the volume, you can even hear these little ***** reading the sign that says ‘please take one so everyone gets one’ aloud (while laughing and picking their heads up like thieves on the lookout) while taking it all,” the post above the video said. “Starts off with simple **** like candy, then eventually escalates to stealing guns out of ppl’s cars, selling drugs, armed robbery, joining ‘the system’ and then eventually being jailed, shot, killed etc…. This mentality is how it all starts… Immaturity?? Nah…. Why didn’t any of the other kids do this??? It’s not a kid thing, it’s a culture thing… Same culture that lands their 8×10 picture on front of Auntie’s airbrushed t-shirt while Auntie falls all over herself at the funeral claiming what a perfect person they were their entire life. Lack of character – the cancer of this planet,” the post said.
Hargrave apologized in an email sent to multiple news stations Monday.
“I want to reach out and sincerely apologize for the inappropriate social media post made on my personal account over the weekend,” Hargrave said. “I am regretful for making the post and am deeply sorry for the offense and pain it has caused. This regrettable action is not a reflection of my values or who I am as a person, my role as an active community member, or as a local business owner- anyone who knows my heart will know this. I respect and value all members of my community. I am remorseful for my thoughtless words, and ask for everyone’s forgiveness.”
Leaders at the corporate office on Walk-On’s, located in Baton Rouge, issued the following statement Monday shortly before Hargrave issued his apology:
“We have been made aware of the social media post made by Brandon Hargrave, the franchise owner of the Covington location, on his personal account and remained shocked by its offensive nature. We do not condone this type of behavior and although Mr. Hargrave’s location is independently owned and operated, we have urged him to make a formal apology. As a franchise system, we pride ourselves on providing a welcoming environment throughout the communities we operate, and are therefore addressing this issue with the utmost attention.”
Walk-On’s is a chain of casual-dining restaurants that started near the LSU campus in Baton Rouge.