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McDonald’s apologizes for banning black people in one location over virus, temporarily closes store

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Given the push back over alleged discrimination issues in the United States, there has been little noise over a McDonald’s restaurant in China posting a sign banning black people from the premises.

Not that the fast-food chain isn’t in full damage control mode.

As seen online, a McDonald’s location in Guangzhou said that it had “been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant.”

“For the sake of your health, consciously notify the local police for medical isolation, please understand the inconvenience caused,” the notice added.

There has reportedly been a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment in the city as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, with Africans there being targeted — interestingly, the sign is in English.

A McDonald’s Corporation spokesperson stated that “as a brand, as a company and as more than 2.2 million people serving nearly 120 countries around the world, this is not representative of our inclusive values,” according to The Hill.

“Immediately upon learning of an unauthorized communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant,” read a statement from the company.

“As part of the temporary closure of this restaurant, we will take the opportunity to further educate managers and employees on our values, which includes serving all members of the communities in which we operate,” the release concluded.

Tensions have been running high between Africans and locals in Guangzhou, the BBC reported. The city is a hub for African traders buying and selling goods and is home to one of China’s largest African communities.

Hundreds of Africans were reportedly evicted from hotels and apartments after online rumors claimed coronavirus was spreading among Africans, community leaders told the BBC.

The coronavirus has not been good for McDonald’s business this year, as the company reported last week sales at restaurants open at least a year plunged more than 22% in March, led by a nearly 35% decline in internationally operated markets, according to CNN.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter, as the world awaits a response — any response — from NBA star and Chinese PR guy Lebron James.

Tom Tillison

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