(WXYZ) — The owner of the Detroit Popcorn Company has been ousted from the company over a post he made over on social media that said, “they wonder why they need knees in there (SIC) necks.”
Evan Singer says it was not meant to be a reference to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis but the timing would suggest otherwise.
The post went viral over the weekend and it has caused two big customers to cut business ties, the Detroit Zoo and Rock Ventures which owns Quicken Loans and other downtown Detroit businesses.
Following the comments coming to light Monday, Rock Ventures released the following statement:
This morning we were made aware of the statements made by Evan Singer, owner of Detroit Popcorn, on social media. In a statement released Saturday evening, Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner committed to doubling down on our existing efforts regarding diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Our message is clear: any business working with our Family of Companies must always demonstrate the same purpose, passion and civility. Those who cannot uphold this standard will not work with us. As such, we are immediately severing ties with Detroit Popcorn.
The Detroit Zoo announced they were cutting ties in a tweet:
You will no longer see Detroit Popcorn product at the Detroit Zoo. Service Systems Associates (SSA), the exclusive service provider for Detroit Zoo concessions, cut ties with Detroit Popcorn this morning immediately after the comments were brought to their attention.— Detroit Zoo (@detroitzoo) June 2, 2020
Gary Gochenour is with the SSA Group which does the vending at the zoo and buys popcorn and cotton candy from the company.
He tells 7 Action News, “We took swift action and decided that we no longer wanted to have a business partnership with Detroit Popcorn.”
The Detroit Popcorn Company announced Tuesday that Singer is no longer affiliated with or employed by them.
The previous owner, David Farber, who sold the company after building its brand, says he is already pursuing a sale of the company to African American investors in the very near future.
“I was very disheartened and disappointed in what Mr. Singer wrote on Facebook,” says Farber in a news release. “I don’t tolerate racism in any form, ever. Detroit Popcorn Company is closed in the short term until we can assess the best way to move forward and also facilitate a sale. Mr. Singer disrespected our community, customers, and employees. I could not tolerate this behavior at a company that I once owned, therefore, I decided to buy back the company.”