A former Tucson executive who lost his job after filming himself berating a Chick-fil-A employee last week has made a new video - this one an apology to the young worker.
Adam Smith shot a video apologizing for his behavior while attempting to explain his reasons for verbally attacking the young woman who served him Wednesday with a constant but uncomfortable smile and ever-polite language as he insulted her employer. The incident took place at the Chick-fil-A, 3605 E. Broadway.
Smith, who was chief financial officer at Vante, a medical manufacturing firm, waited in line for a free cup of water on what conservative commentator Mike Huckabee dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." Huckabee encouraged customers to eat there to show support for the chain after its president, Dan Cathy, said the company supports efforts to block gay marriage.
Smith filmed his visit to the restaurant and then uploaded it to YouTube. The video went viral, leading to his exit from Vante.
Smith said in the new video posted Saturday that he was taking part in a counterprotest where people were asked to go to the restaurant and order a large cup of water to show support for the gay community.
His plan was to never verbally attack the employee, he said in the video.
In the original video, Smith called Chick-fil-A "a hateful corporation" and "a horrible corporation with horrible values" that "gives money to hate groups."
In the apology video, Smith praised the employee's demeanor in handling his "frustrating rant with such dignity and composure."
"Every time I watch the video, I'm blown away by the beauty in what you did and your kindness," he said in the video, which runs 7 minutes, 48 seconds.
When he saw the large number of people who came to support the restaurant that day, he says, he "lost it."
"And how did I lose it? By making you listen to my frustration," he said. "It wasn't right and, for that, I'm sorry."
Smith said he went back to the store the following day to talk to the worker, but she didn't want to talk.
"I deserve the silent treatment," he said.
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Contact reporter Jamar Younger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4115.