‘American Idol’ finalist Bo Bice outraged after Popeye’s employee calls him ‘white boy’

Bo Bice during VH1 Big in '05 - Arrivals at Sony Studios in Culver City, California, United States. Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Bo Bice was the first runner-up on Season 4 of American Idol in 2005 and he’s back, without the long locks, alleging that he recently suffered a racist experience.

Bice told Atlanta Fox 5 about his interaction with employees at a Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport on Friday.

“One of the three young ladies behind the corner [sic] said, ‘He’s already got his, that white boy over there,'” Bice described. He did not elaborate on his experience inside the store after the “white boy” comment was made, and didn’t share any other details about what was said.

At the end of the segment, Bice shed tears about having to go on TV, “come 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.”

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Bice took to Facebook on Monday to post about his experience at Popeye’s, saying all he wanted was an apology, and that he’s “tired of the racist double standards” in society. He also tagged Fox 5, who picked up his story.

After the broadcast, Bice took to Facebook again to respond to the social media backlash he’s received since revealing his story; he said it “proves my point that we have a major problem with racial prejudice in our country and society.”

Popeye’s responded to Fox 5’s inquiry with a statement:

Mack II Inc. is very sorry that the incident occurred and for any pain or embarrassment that Mr. Bice experienced. 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 addition, Mr. Bice has been issued an apology by the General Manager. We value all of our customers regardless of race, religion, age, disability, gender, etc.

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Bice claims in his most recent Facebook post that the woman who called him white (Bice says her name is Shawana) “wasn’t fired, and the reason she wasn’t fired is because I asked Edith Hunter her manager not to do so.”

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People on Twitter had many things to say about the situation, many not finding his complaints valid.

2016 was a tumultuous year in terms of race relations south of the border, and very early into 2017 it doesn’t look like things have settled down. President-elect Donald Trump’s anti-immigration campaign centred around the promise to build a wall to keep Mexican migrants from crossing into the U.S., and Trump has also called for a “total and complete” block on Muslims entering the United States.

Last year, Black Lives Matter demonstrated against the deaths of many African-Americans, including Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, at the hands of police.

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