Whole Foods Countersuing Customer Who Claimed Cake Featured Anti-Gay Slur

Image courtesy of Glyn Lowe Photoworks

Earlier this week, a Texas pastor sued Whole Foods, claiming that a cake he bought from one of the chain’s locations bore an anti-gay slur on the top. Whole Foods is flipping the situation around now, and has filed a countersuit accusing the customer of perpetrating a hoax.

The pastor, who is openly gay, picked up a cake from a downtown Austin location on April 14, and filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods on April 18. According to his side of the story, which he posted on YouTube, he wanted the cake to read “Love Wins.” He says that when he got to his car, he realized a homophobic slur had been added to his original message so that it read “Love Wins F–“.

Whole Foods says those allegations aren’t true, that it intends to take legal action to dispute the man’s claims, reports the San Antonio Express-News (warning: link contains video that autoplays).

“After a deeper investigation of [the customer’s] claim, we believe his accusations are fraudulent and we intend to take legal action against both [the customer] and his attorney,” the chain said in a statement. Whole Foods says the bakery employee did just as requested, and that the “Love Wins” message — sans any slurs — was visible through the clear top window of the cake’s packaging.

“That’s exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store,” the company said. “Whole Foods Market has a strict policy that prohibits team members from accepting or designing bakery orders that include language or images that are offensive.”

The grocery chain released security footage from the store that it says contradicts the customer’s claims: that footage shows the label on the top of the box as the man buys his cake, contrary to its placement on the side toward the bottom of the box in the customer’s video. You can tell in the security footage, as the cashier scans the top of the box during the transaction, Whole Foods notes.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 12.20.25 PM

“We stand behind our bakery team member, who is part of the LGBTQ community, and we appreciate the team members and shoppers who recognize that this claim is completely false and directly contradicts Whole Foods Market’s inclusive culture, which celebrates diversity,” the store said.

Whole Foods suing gay Texas pastor who accused chain of putting anti-gay slur on cake [San Antonio Express-News]