Employees at a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop in Georgia have been fired after filming themselves with a noose made of dough and simulating a hanging.
In the 16-second clip, which was first shared on Snapchat, a White Jimmy John’s employee fits his head through the dough, knotted and fashioned to look like a noose.
Employees can be heard laughing while the “noose” hangs around one employee’s neck as other people laugh off screen. Another person holding the end of the dough noose raises it above the man’s head to make it appear like he’s being hanged.
A Fourth of July sticker is tacked on at the bottom of the clip, which Jimmy John’s first responded to on Sunday.
Jimmy John’s confirmed to CNN that the employees worked at a location in Woodstock, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. The statement said the employees in the clip have been fired by the local franchise owner. Jimmy John’s did not disclose how many employees were fired.
“The actions seen in the video are absolutely unacceptable and do not represent the Jimmy John’s brand nor the local franchise ownership team,” a Jimmy John’s spokesperson said late Monday to CNN in a statement. “As soon as we were alerted to the video, we notified our franchisee, who quickly investigated and terminated all employees involved. The franchisee is also meeting with their team to conduct training to help prevent anything like this from ever happening again.”
While the motivations of the former Jimmy John’s employees are not clear, the incident comes during a national reckoning over racism in the US, which has seen Black Americans intimidated with symbols of hatred and oppression like nooses.
On Twitter, the company said it has “zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form.”
CNN’s calls to the two Jimmy John’s locations in Woodstock were unreturned.