UPDATE 3:51 P.M. Monday: A rep from Milano Market apologized over an incident in which Forest Whitaker was stopped and frisked by one of its employees on Saturday. The rep said the pat down was not racially motivated.
“The management of Milano Market deeply regrets the wrongful actions of our employee in stopping and frisking Forest Whitaker,” the rep told the entertainment news site. “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 rep added that the market is taking steps to retrain employees so that such incidents do not happen again. Milano Market also wants to make a donation to a charity of Whitaker’s choice to make things right.
UPDATE 1:00 P.M. Sunday: A store employee from Milano Market spoke to the New York Daily News about the pat down Forest Whitaker endured after he was accused of stealing from the establishment.
“It was around lunchtime and the store was packed,” said a Milano employee who refused to give his name. “We were like 50 people deep. The person walked in and out really quickly so our person just made a mistake. The employee apologized immediately. It was an honest mistake. I’ve been here 14 years and nothing like this has ever happened.”
Really? Perhaps Forest didn’t see what he wanted and simply walked out. What’s the crime in that?
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The employee’s comments still do not sit well with the Forest, according to his representative.
“This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into the deli,” said his publicist, Jennifer Plante. She said the actor was on set and unavailable to discuss the incident.