Allan Ferguson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

‘Undercover Boss’ sparks backlash with ‘breastaurant’ episode

Is not wanting to wear a bikini on television a fireable offense? On 'Undercover Boss' it is.


EJ Dickson


Published Dec 29, 2014   Updated May 29, 2021, 9:27 pm CDT

America: The only country in the world where you can get fired for not coming to work half-naked. 

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That’s what we learned Sunday night on Undercover Boss, the CBS reality series where bosses and executives go undercover to suss out bad employee behavior. This week, the TV show focused on Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, an eating establishment that CEO Doug Guller loving refers to as a “breastaurant.”

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In the episode, which you can watch here, Guller fires a woman for refusing to wear a bikini top on camera. To clarify, she was willing to take her top off during work hours, as it is part of her job description; she just wasn’t OK with showing her boobs on national television.

The low point of the scene—but probably the high point, from a CBS reality TV producer perspective—is when the employee, Jessica, starts crying. To console her, Guller offers to help her find work by getting “[her] resume out there.” Which sounds like a magnanimous offer, until you consider that Jessica works at a breastaurant, so in this case “resume” is may just be a synonym for “bikini photos.”

In another scene, Guller offers a different female employee breast implants during a performance review, as an incentive to get her to work harder. Nothing against ladies who get breast implants or anything, but frankly, this doesn’t seem like a decision that should be discussed between a supervisor and an employee. For instance, I had my performance review last week, and at no point did my boss try to get me to work harder by offering me breast implants. 

Naturally, the Internet wasn’t too happy with Undercover Boss, taking umbrage with Guller’s unbelievably sexist behavior. (As an aside, you can check out a list of the businesses he owns here.) Viewers also took CBS to task for airing the episode in the first place:

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But let’s be honest, guys: We’re talking about a show where high-level white dudes wear fake glasses and Groucho Marx mustaches so they can spy on their employees and then fire them on air. Giving a platform to a sexist asshole who thinks employees should be judged solely by their cup size is bad, but has CBS really had any shame to begin with?

H/T Jezebel | Photo via Allan Ferguson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Dec 29, 2014, 3:25 pm CST