If racist Hollywood and theaters can make racist movies and plays where Asians are discriminated against and not allowed to act as Asian characters and Asian historical figures and get away with it. why are people surprised when their racist audience follow them and not thinking about the consequences?
Hooters, the restaurant chain widely known for the skimpy outfits of its waitresses, has built its reputation in part on its fun-loving and mildly provocative spirit. But a Korean-American customer has accused a Hooters restaurant in Queens of taking that carefree ethos too far and has sued the company for racial discrimination.
In early July, Kisuk Cha and his girlfriend, both Korean immigrants, walked into a Hooters in Fresh Meadows and ordered buffalo shrimp and chicken wings to go. After they placed their order, they noticed their server and another employee standing at the computer giggling and “gawking at them,” according to the lawsuit.
When the server handed them their receipt, Mr. Cha and his girlfriend saw that in the space reserved for the customer’s name, the cashier had typed “chinx.”
“I was shocked,” Mr. Cha, 25, an unemployed information technology specialist, said in an interview. “My girlfriend was shocked as well.” He said he was so distraught that he lost his appetite and, when he got home, threw the food away.
In the lawsuit, which was filed Monday afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn, Mr. Cha’s lawyer, Daniel D. Baek, elaborated:
“He was so overwhelmed that he just wanted to go to bed to sleep, but was too angry to do so,” Mr. Baek wrote. “This incident has continued to cause him mental anguish. He is haunted by the ridiculing giggles and stares of his persecutor. He does not feel welcome at Hooters and indeed questions whether he is welcomed at any non-Korean establishments.”
The lawsuit names the chain’s parent company, Hooters of America, and the owners of the Hooters franchise in Fresh Meadows. It also includes two employees, one of whom is unidentified and the other of whom is identified only by the name she printed on the receipt, “220 Shenika.” It seeks unspecified damages for violations to Mr. Cha’s “federal, state and common law rights.”
Nicole Conboy, director of human resources for the holding company that owns the Fresh Meadows restaurant and three Hooters on Long Island, said that when Mr. Baek advised the company of the incident, the restaurant management responded swiftly with an internal investigation. During the inquiry, she said, a 17-year-old hostess stepped forward and admitted to committing the act, and the employee immediately resigned.
“We take all of that very, very seriously,” Ms. Conboy said Monday.
The company’s lawyer, Edward G. McCabe, said there had been no prior incidents or complaints of a similar nature at the restaurant.
“It does not reflect the manner in which the restaurant is operated,” he said in a letter to Mr. Baek, calling the employee’s conduct “egregious” and “deplorable.”
Mr. Cha, who emigrated from Korea in 2000 and who lives in Philadelphia, said he remained unconsoled.
“Recently I got my U.S. citizenship,” he said, “and I realized, like, this isn’t something I expected when I became a U.S. citizen.”