- Cara Delevingne calls out Justin Bieber for ‘ranking’ wife Hailey’s friends Friday 9:07 PM
- Fans defend Jenna Marbles after some people claimed she mistreated her dogs in a recent video Friday 8:37 PM
- ‘Friends’ gets reunion special on HBO Max, fans go wild Friday 7:37 PM
- Why you should drop everything and start reading ‘Lore Olympus’ Friday 6:27 PM
- ‘Boogaloo’ memes are trying to organize a second civil war—and they’re spreading fast Friday 3:48 PM
- People are disturbed by these McDonald’s-scented candles Friday 3:47 PM
- Season 2 of ‘The Witcher’ is in production Friday 3:16 PM
- Here are some cringey billboards Bloomberg ran in Arizona Friday 2:51 PM
- PewDiePie returns to YouTube after 37-day hiatus Friday 2:01 PM
- Why was a Republican Party Facebook page co-managed by someone in Turkmenistan? Friday 1:26 PM
- The shorthand guide to ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Friday 1:07 PM
- Congress urges Tinder to screen for sex offenders Friday 1:03 PM
- Video shows 9-year-old threatening suicide after being bullied Friday 12:01 PM
- Ex-Goldman Sachs CEO says he might vote Trump because Sanders is too mean to him Friday 11:40 AM
- Twitch streamer says she was banned for body painting Friday 11:39 AM
That $35 million Subway blackmail story is a sandwich of lies
Calorie counting and corporate espionage meet at last.
We now have additional proof that the Internet is just a game of “Telephone” with 300 million players.
A disgruntled Subway franchisee tried to recoup business losses by threatening to release a YouTube video that repeated the fine print on the sandwich shops’ caloric menu, only to wind up accused of blackmailing the company for $35 million with an exposé that could ruin the brand.
In fact, as Vice reported in an interview with Arun Singhal, the Melbourne, Australia, man at the center of this confusion, the original figure was more like $350,000—the amount Signhal believed he was owed after he was asked to shut down his location, allegedly under false pretenses. Although Subway suggested that sales at the store were poor, Singhal contends that they were secretly retaliating for his complaints to higher-ups about the misleading nutritional promises of “six grams of fat or less” that allow the chain to market itself as health-conscious fast food.
“People are just unaware” of how much fat can be found in a Subway meal, Singhal said, but apparently all his video explains is that more fat can get smuggled into a sandwich via cheese or sauces, two things almost every customer orders. Subway’s own menu admits as much, albeit in small type: “Sandwich nutrition values include 9-Grain Wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers. Values to not include cheese unless noted. … Addition of other condiments and fixings will alter nutrition values.” (Don’t forget salad dressing and croutons!)
Even so, the company was peeved enough to legally obstruct Singhal’s not-so-shocking video by arguing that it revealed “proprietary information.” According to Singhal, they calculated the potential damages at $35 million, then spun the story so it looked as though he had demanded that sum to keep quiet. Since talking to Vice, Singhal hasn’t answered his phone, and a Subway spokesman has yet to reply to our request for comment on the affair.
In conclusion: Don’t believe anything, ever. And maybe think about pizza for lunch?
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'