Two Black women were allegedly refused service at Nori Japan in Aurora, Illinois due to their race in a viral TikTok. User @labellamonay shared a video of the employee apparently discriminating against her and her sister, which received over 1 million views as of Wednesday.
“Excuse me, did you tell my sister you weren’t going to serve her because she’s Black?” the TikToker says in the video.
“I [don’t] like her. Let’s go. No more here,” the employee says. English does not appear to be the Asian man’s first language, however.
“Cause she’s Black? Cause another Black person took your food and didn’t pay, you’re not going to serve my sister?” she questions.
The man allegedly refused to serve the pair because another Black person didn’t pay for their food earlier that day. The TikToker continues to confront the man for alleged discriminatory behavior.
“You can’t do that, sir. That’s discrimination. You can’t tell her you’re not going to serve her cause she’s Black because of what someone else did today,” she says.
“You people no pay money,” he apparently responds.
“What does that have to do with us? I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir. We’re not affiliated with them,” she says.
The woman then identifies the location of the restaurant at the Fox Valley Mall food court in order to hold the man accountable. “I thought I would never have to do something like this,” she says.
“Well, what’s worse, the person that we don’t know not paying you $5 or us suing you for discrimination?” she asks him.
“I don’t know. Same face,” he says.
“Oh, cause we all have the same face?” she asks.
“Yes this is in 2021. Man refuses to serve blac customers. Blow this up so the world can see,” the user captioned the TikTok, shared on Dec. 26.
Some users in the comments defended the employee and empathized with where he was coming from.
“Leave the old man alone!” one user said.
“He’s wrong but I also understand him this man is traumatized and hurt. Understanding should come from both sides,” said another.
“He has the right to refuse service,” said a third.
User @labellamonay responded to this comment in a follow-up video citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“It’s really scary that a lot of you guys don’t understand what this means, and it means that you cannot deny service to anyone based on these reasons. And that’s what this guy did,” she says.
However, many others called out the users that were defending the man.
“I do not understand how y’all are looking at obvious discrimination and choose to defend this man,” one user said.
“I’m half Asian and I’m sick of my people DEFENDING people like him just cuz he’s old and doesn’t speak English much. He’s a grown adult,” said another.
In support of the TikToker and her sister, some took to Yelp to leave negative reviews of the establishment due to the man’s behavior. As a result, Yelp has temporarily disabled the ability to post reviews for that location.
The Daily Dot has reached out to user @labellamonay via Instagram messages and Fox Valley Mall via its website. We were unable to contact Nori Japan for comment.
Update 9:12am CT, Dec. 30: In a response to the Daily Dot, Fox Valley Mall says it “does not condone any form of discrimination. Our relationship with our valued customers is a top priority, and we want everyone to have an equally enjoyable experience at the center. Mall management has formally apologized to those affected.”
It adds: “The owner-operator of Nori Japan has informed us that the employee involved in the incident has been terminated. He has also personally called the customers and regrets any negative impact this past employee’s personal behavior has caused. Nori Japan is closed for business until further notice.”
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