Tears were shed by former American Idol contestant Bo Bice as he recounted his story of being called a “white boy” at a Popeye’s restaurant by a Black female employee, who has since been suspended over the incident.
Bice, who lost in the finals to Carrie Underwood on “Idol’s” fourth season, took to Facebook complaining about the service he received Monday at a Popeye’s in Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson Airport. In the now-deleted post, Bice said he was the victim of “racist behavior” because one female employee said to another, “He’s already got his [order], that white boy over there.”
He also claimed the women mocked his name for “5 minutes straight,’” calling him “Bow-Bow, Boo-Boo, and Bo-Bo.”
Bice, whose last album “3” was released in 2010 and sold 11,000 copies, said Facebook deleted his initial post about the incident, so he took a screenshot of his words and posted it as two photos in a new post (below), stating he was tired of the “racist double standards” and threatening a lawsuit against the restaurant chain:
Then came the tears.
In an interview with Fox 5 news on Tuesday, Bice cried while recounting his story.
“If the tables had been turned and I had used something…and been as insensitive as to say something like that, I would be boycotted,” he said. “There would be people not buying my albums, there would be people coming and picketing at my shows, and everything else.”
Through his tears he said: “And the fact that I have to come on TV and calm down a notch, and look like a petty little brat by tweeting and Facebooking this just to open up dialogue so we can have an adult conversation is ridiculous.”
He then pointed directly at the camera and said: “America, you should be ashamed.”
According to the Daily Mail, a franchise manager from Popeye’s called him a day after the incident to apologize.
The interview with Fox also prompted an apology from the group that manages the Hartsfield-Jackson location. The group said: ‘The company does not condone the behavior of one of our associates and we took corrective action as soon as we were made aware of the incident. Also, we will require re-training of our associates to ensure this isolated incident does not occur again.”
In a subsequent Facebook post, Bice said his tears in the Fox 5 interview were not over being called “that white boy”:
I began to cry and got emotional because I told a story of buying a build-a-bear for a young girl for Christmas this year in Birmingham who was black. Her Father/Grandfather was a Veteran and I wanted to secretly do something nice for them for the holidays. He sacrifice so much for our country and I wanted to do something small to thanks him. I got emotional telling that story because I never looked at the color of their skin, I saw a little girl who was getting her 1st build-a-bear, that’s special, I wanted to treat her to something for Christmas. I got emotional over telling that story, not crying because I was called “White Boy”.
In the same FB post, he also took credit for getting the Popeye’s employee suspended rather than fired:
Shawana wasn’t fired, and the reason she wasn’t fired is because I asked Edith Hunter her manager not to do so. I told her that she needs some sensitivity training and the behavior pattern of these employees needs to stop. You’re welcome Shawana, I hope you get you attitude under control and that the training your team receives helps to stop this from happening to other. I hope you get back to work soon!
Needless to say, Twitter let Bice have it after his Fox 5 interview went viral:
. @OfficialBoBice So…u really think being called “That white boy” is what racism feels like? i WISH my exp.w/ racism were this trivial
— Girth of a Nation (@Beejangles) January 4, 2017
Hey @OfficialBoBice I’ve been called a terrorist numerous times since I was a child. I wish I could have been called “brown boy”.
— Nael (@NaelMaali) January 4, 2017
Bo Bice from American Idol is trending… and is alive. Oh… it’s about racism & Popeyes chicken? So this is what 2017 is going to be like?
— rduran (@rduran) January 4, 2017
I didn’t even know who bo bice was before this popeyes incident. Meaning not only is he a white guy, he’s an irrelevant white guy.
— Miserella 🍒 (@ANTlZAYN) January 4, 2017
Bo Bice trending because someone at Popeyes called him “white boy”. Let me wipe away my tears….of laughter. Dancing with the Stars next?
— (((SoJewishWoman))) (@SouthJewishWman) January 4, 2017
— Zach Dionne (@ZachDionne) January 4, 2017