McDonald’s is apologizing after one of its restaurants in China posted a sign on its door forbidding Black people from entering. The public display of racism comes amid growing hostility toward Black people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sign, posted to a restaurant location in China’s port city of Guangzhou, went viral over the weekend after a video of it was shared on social media. “Notice: We’ve been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant,” the sign read. “For the sake of your health consciously notify the local police for medical isolation, please understand the inconvenience caused.”
The public uproar from the video that shows someone holding the sign before handing it over to a McDonald’s employee caused the popular fast-food chain to respond with disapproval.
“McDonald’s China apologizes unreservedly to the individual and our customers,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Regina Hui said in a statement to the Washington Post, adding that the restaurant was directed to remove the sign. McDonald’s has also said it will use the incident as a teachable moment to “further educate managers and employees on our values, which includes serving all members of the communities in which we operate.”
According to the BBC, Guangzhou is a hub for African traders and is home to one of China’s largest African communities. The government there responded to the backlash by saying that it was concerned about the hostility shown towards black people and “is working promptly to improve.”
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