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A McDonald’s in China is apologizing for banning black customers from entering a restaurant in Guangzhou over coronavirus concerns.
According to a video, shared first on Weibo, and then to other social media platforms, a black customer was given a laminated notice barring him from entering the fast-food chain.
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“We’ve been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant. For the sake of your health consciously notify the local police for medical isolation, please understand the inconvenience caused,” the notice read, according to a video uploaded to Twitter.
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The video quickly made the rounds on social media, with users widely condemning the notice.
McDonald’s “immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant” once it was alerted of the ban, the company said in a statement to Fox News.
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“As a brand, as a company and as more than 2.2 million people serving nearly 120 countries around the world, this is not representative of our inclusive values. Immediately upon learning of an unauthorized communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant,” the statement read.
“As part of the temporary closure of this restaurant, we will take the opportunity to further educate managers and employees on our values, which includes serving all members of the communities in which we operate.”
The notice has since been removed and the operators of the location have also apologized, the Shanghaiist reported. It is unclear who first created the notice, and if it was only handed out at that one location.
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Tensions have flared between Chinese and Africans in the Guangzhou city, where many Africans live, after reports that Africans have been evicted or discriminated against due to coronavirus fears. An unfounded rumor had been spreading that “300,000 black people in Guangzhou were setting off a second epidemic.”
The U.S. and African nations have been critical of China’s reported treatment of Africans in the commercial hub, with authorities allegedly ordering bars and restaurants not to serve clients “who appear to be of African origin.” Officials in Guangzhou have also launched mandatory testing and self-quarantine for “anyone with ‘African contacts,’” according to a U.S. Embassy security alert.
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