Posted on July 2, 2022

Criticizing Lack of Grocery Stores in the South Bronx Means the Twitter Mob Will Try to Get You Fired

Liz Wolfe, Reason, June 30, 2022

“I’ve literally been to like five of those now, and I don’t know what the fuck I’m about to do for dinner,” said NYC newcomer Griffin Green in a TikTok video posted this past week, referring to the bodegas of the South Bronx. “Like, where are the Krogers and the Whole Foods at? I’m about to eat fuckin’ cereal and ramen for dinner,” Green continued.

This, and other TikTok videos in the style of day-in-the-life vlogs (that have since been roasted and riffed on), seem to have gotten him fired from software company Outreach, which had hired him as an entry-level sales development representative. “I’m in the Bronx for a few weeks so I’m like the only white dude in this whole gym, so I got this NAACP shirt so these people vibe with me more,” said Green in one video. {snip} He briefly shows his employment offer letter, marked as confidential, in another TikTok, though it’s very hard to make out details within it; in an email to Reason, the company claims this was the reason they fired him but awkwardly follows that statement with a seemingly unrelated one about diversity, equity, and inclusion. “It is against company policy for employees to leak private and confidential information, and grounds for termination,” wrote Andrew Schmitt, vice president of communications. “We remain committed to building our culture that finds strength in our diversity, equity and inclusion—and a company where all can succeed.”

If they were firing Green for the offer letter image alone, it doesn’t make sense why the company’s Twitter account made news of his firing public via a tweeted response to people who were angry about the bodega video or why they responded to the mob at all. When I spoke with Green, he said HR had called him on his second day of work, notifying him that he’d be let go for both the heat that they’d gotten from the videos and the sharing of the confidential offer letter. Green notes that the offer letter had been on TikTok for three weeks prior but only just now caught their attention.

Had Green framed his bodega TikTok as an exploration of the struggles with food deserts in the South Bronx, he’d probably still have a job, having never faced the mob’s ire. He may have even been lauded instead of derided as a racist “Chad” from the Midwest. But a few low-follower Twitter accounts found Green’s TikTok videos, quote-tweeted them, and with comments like “I would reevaluate his employment if I were you,” to which Outreach responded indicating that they’d terminated him.