Vancouver restaurant that fired manager over MAGA hat incident inundated with negative Yelp reviews
A Vancouver restaurant has been inundated with negative online reviews after firing its manager for refusing to serve a customer wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat.
Darin Hodge was let go from The Teahouse restaurant in Stanley Park after telling an American tourist to take his red hat off if he wanted to be served.
The Sequoia Group, which owns the Teahouse, said Hodge was fired for violating the company’s “philosophy of tolerance.”
Following the news, the Teahouse’s Yelp page has received numerous negative reviews.
WATCH: Trump slogan hat leads to firing of Vancouver restaurant manager
“Too bad you gave in to Trump,” said one user who gave the restaurant a one-star review. “You lost my business.”
“The company has made clear where they stand,” another one-star review said. “If you have any scruples you will take your business to establishments with some kind of moral compass.”
Yelp, a website that allows users to review local businesses, has increasingly found itself an unlikely hotbed of polarized political debate.
The site has installed an Active Cleanup Alert for businesses that find themselves in the news.
The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, has become internationally famous since ousting White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The owner had consulted with employees, who said Sanders made them feel uncomfortable. It was an on-the-spot decision, and led to condemnation by President Donald Trump, an onslaught of negative Yelp reviews and global media coverage.
An eatery in Collingwood, Ont. with a similar name, The Olde Red Hen Restaurant, got caught in the crossfire after a link to their restaurant was wrongly shared, making them the target of several nasty comments.
In a previous statement, the Sequoia Group called Hodge “a good person with a big heart and a right to his personal beliefs.”
However, it said he was fired for violating the company’s “philosophy of tolerance.”
WATCH: Restaurant that kicked out Sarah Sanders takes a hit on Yelp
“Sequoia does not support intolerance of any kind, and it is because of these principles that we cannot discriminate against someone based on their support for the current administration in the United States or any other bona fide political party,” reads the statement.
Hodge said he stands by his decision.
“The MAGA hat has come to symbolize racism, bigotry, islamaphobia [sic], misogyny, white supremacy, homophobia. As a person with a strong moral backbone, I had to take a stand against this guest’s choice of headwear while in my former place of work,” he wrote.
“Absolutely no regrets.”
— With files from Niki Reitmayer, Simon Little and The Associated Press
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.