'RIP Taco Bell': People tweet homemade recipes to boycott chain, show support for employee who says he was fired for Black Lives Matter mask

Ohio Taco Bell worker Denzel Skinner says he was fired for refusing to remove his Black Lives Matter mask. (Screenshot: Facebook/Denzel Skinner)
Ohio Taco Bell worker Denzel Skinner says he was fired for refusing to remove his Black Lives Matter mask. (Screenshot: Facebook/Denzel Skinner)

Twitter is sharing homemade recipes for Taco Bell meals in solidarity with an employee who says he was fired after refusing to remove his Black Lives Matter face mask.

The hashtags #RIPTacoBell and #TacoBellIsOverParty were trending Thursday with photos of copycat recipes for Crunchwrap Supremes (including a vegan version), Baja Blast beverages and a quesadilla sauce from people supporting a Black man named Denzel Skinner.

Last week, Skinner filmed an argument with a female coworker at the Ohio restaurant on Facebook Live from his parked car. Wearing the mask in question, Skinner says in the June 8 video (with expletives), “I’m legit being fired because I have a Black Lives Matter [mask] on.”

According to Skinner, Taco Bell allows employees to wear “any type of mask” and that his other mask restricts his breathing. He said that when he arrived at work, he was told by a coworker “You can’t wear that mask” but he “blew it off.”

When the employee appears off-camera, Skinner says, “You just fired me because I got a Black Lives Matter mask on. Are you serious? You told me I could go home.”

“You told me you weren’t going to take it off, replies the off-camera voice, to which Skinner says, “I’m not. Because I’m standing up for what’s right.”

The woman says, “You can’t bring politics into the building.” When Skinner again refuses to remove it, she says, “OK. Well, then there’s nothing I can do for you” and “I’m just doing my job...You don’t get it” adding, “It’s a company thing.”

“Would you like somebody to wear something that said something about white people on it?” she asks.

“If that’s what they stand for, yes,” Skinner replies.

Skinner said in his video that he plans to search for a lawyer. “I got fired over a mask,” he says incredulously. “...I can’t make this up.” Before turning off the camera, he says, “Keep standing up for what you all think is right.”

In support of Skinner, people unearthed copycat Taco Bell recipes to encourage people to satisfy their cravings at home.

Yahoo Life could not reach Skinner for comment. A spokesperson from Taco Bell tells Yahoo Life in a statement, “We believe Black Lives Matter. We were disappointed to learn about the incident that took place in Youngstown, OH. We take this very seriously; we have been working closely with our franchisee that operates this location to address the issue. Our Chief People Officer and Yum!’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer spoke with Denzel last week to apologize and discuss the situation. Our goal is to ensure our policies are inclusive and keep our team members and customers safe. While our policies at restaurants do not prohibit Team Members from wearing Black Lives Matter masks, we are working to clarify our mask policy so this doesn’t happen again.”

Related Video: The History of Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos

The company did not clarify its face mask policy or state whether Skinner was terminated or re-hired when asked by Yahoo Life. Additionally, Yahoo Life also could not reach a spokesperson from Taco Bell’s parent company Yum Brands for comment.

In a June 2 tweet, Taco Bell CEO Mark King said, in part, “We don’t tolerate racism or violence against Black people. We’re committed to being part of long-term solutions. And we have more work to do.”

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