Last Friday, Oscar winning actor Forest Whitaker was stopped at the door of a NYC deli on his way out, accused of shoplifting and frisked. He’s now gotten an apology from the deli owner himself, who insists the reason for the star’s public humiliation wasn’t a racial one.
In a statement to the press, Whitaker said he had never felt more humiliated than when he was stopped and frisked like a criminal even though he hadn’t done anything wrong.
He also hinted that the reason he was probably stopped was because he was black.
The owner of the deli in question, Anthony Galofara, called in on TMZ Live hours ago, to refute that claim and to issue an apology to the actor. He also set the record straight on other rumors in the media.
Check it out in the video below.
Galofaro apologizes for the incident and offers to “make a donation to a charity of Mr. Whitaker’s choice to rectify this wrongdoing.”
While he owns up to the mistake, he insists the worker who frisked Whitaker didn’t act out of racism but because they had dealt with similar incidents in a similar fashion.
He was just a “decent man” who was “just doing his job.”
“We have a lot of shoplifters here. It was very busy. He thought [Whitaker] took something and he wasn’t sure. [He is] no longer here with us. He doesn’t want to come here, that’s how much hurt he is. It was a sincere mistake,” Galofaro says.
An honest mistake it might have been, but he’s determined to make sure it won’t ever happen again.
“It hurts me more than anything else what I’ve been hearing in the papers,” Galofaro says of the racism accusation that’s been making the rounds in the press.
As of now, Whitaker is yet to say whether he accepts the apology or not.