Former CFO Now Unemployed, on Food Stamps After Viral Video

Adam Smith has been unable to find a job since a video he made in protest of Chick-Fil-A went viral.
8:18 | 03/28/15

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Transcript for Former CFO Now Unemployed, on Food Stamps After Viral Video
beef. Reporter: Adam and Amy smith are on their weekly supermarket run in Portland, Oregon. Free range chicken. We love your chicken and its $5.99. We'll take it. Reporter: Adam graduated top of his class at business school. A go-getter, high flyer. Now he's shopping with food stamps. In some ways, it feels like I have completely failed. Reporter: From $200 grand a year, you are on food stamps? Yeah. My voice is cracking right now. I never thought I'd be there. It's humbling. Reporter: He's talking about his spectacular fall for the very first time. Talking to us. We were living in a dream house. It was beautiful, on three and half acres. Reporter: Smith lost that beautiful home in Tucson, Arizona, after he was fired from his job as cfo of a medical device manufacturer two and half years ago. The reason? An infamous internet incident spawned by nationwide protests at chick-fil-a. One of the most popular fast food chains is under fire this morning. Reporter: You may recall the kerfuffle erupted when the chicken chain's president took a public stand against same-sex marriage. Confirming that fast food chain is the new ground zero in the culture wars over gay marriage. Reporter: Count Adam smith as a casualty of that war. All because of a two minute, 20 second youtube video that started like this -- Well, I'm waiting in line. I'm next in line. Here I go. Reporter: Smith's humbling experience wasn't caught on camera by someone else. No, he's the only person who pressed "Send." People have to have their chick-fil-a anti-gay breakfast sandwich. Reporter: You filmed yourself and then you made the decision. You posted it. I did it, yeah. Reporter: We'll get back to smith and the details of his cautionary tale in just a minute. Listen, hitting the send button, we do it all the time without really thinking. Sending emails, texts, tweets, selfies, videos out into the world can be life changing, career ending. Just ask these people. The school bus driver posting a beer-swilling selfie. The woman who came to the office dressed as a Boston marathon bombing victim. And the naughty tenth grade math teacher, known as Crunk bear, posting saucy pics and drug talk. Fired, fired, fired. Every time I look at hiring somebody, I go and gather their digital footprint from every source I can get. Reporter: "Shark tank"'s Kevin o'leary is not alone. Most companies now, mine included, employ people that specialize in just watching what's happening on all the platforms. Reporter: Remember pr exec Justine sacco? She learned that the hard way when she tweeted -- "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white." Yep, she's a pr executive. She kind of chuckled to herself. This was in heathrow airport. Pressed send. Reporter: But she says it was meant to be a comment on white privilege, but people didn't get the joke and the tweet went viral while she was in the air heading to Africa. She had no idea. A hash tag started to trend worldwide, #hasjustinelandedyet. Because everybody was so excited about Justine landing and realizing that her life would never be the same again. Reporter: Back now to Adam smith, who in the summer of 2012, decided to protest against chick-fil-a. What's wrong with chick-fil-a, in your mind? They donated to anti-gay groups. Reporter: There were anti and pro protests. Now, smith got in line at his local drive through. There's a long line of cars I don't know if you can see. Reporter: Here's what happened -- You know why I'm getting a free water? I do not. Because chick-fil-a is a hateful corporation. Reporter: And then he got carried away. I don't know how you live with yourself and work here. I don't understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better. I got emotional about it. And said things to the clerk that you regret? I don't regret the stand I took. But I regret the way I talked to her. I just can't stand the hate. You know? It's got to stop. It's got to stop, guys. Reporter: Smith pressed send. Went to bed, woke up, went to work. The receptionist, first thing, big eyes, "Adam, what did you do? The voicemail is completely full and it's full of bomb threats. Reporter: You were asked to resign? Yeah, mm-hmm. Reporter: He refused and was fired, losing his six-figure salary and stock options. Worth? It was over a million dollars. Reporter: And it's gone. It was taken when I lost my employment. Reporter: The money, that beautiful home, all gone. They had to super downsize. No big house, no space for big toys. This is sterling helping give all we own to goodwill. Is that your easy bake oven? Is that one of your favorite toys? Reporter: Did you have a swimming pool? Yeah, we had a jacuzzi. We had a spa. Reporter: You had a jacuzzi? Smith quickly apologized to the clerk he got angry with. I am so very sorry for the way I spoke to you. Reporter: She has forgiven him. I do forgive Adam smith. I think he realizes how bad of a decision it was to make that tape. Reporter: But apparently others have not. So, fired from one cfo job, Adam applied for another 1,200 miles away in Portland, Oregon. He got it. The family had to move, but a job. A fresh start. I hesitate to even ask what happened next. It was two weeks on the job, I got called into the cfo's office. And they said that, "Oh, you should have told us about the chick-fil-a video. You are fired." Reporter: So, he started showing the so-called "Chicken incident" video at job interviews to get it out in the open. Rejection, rejection, rejection. The constant rejection that he has had going forward, it's been really brutal. Reporter: Wife Amy is now the family breadwinner. This may sound silly, but change your name, dye your hair, grow a different beard. All things that were recommended and some of those things I tried. Reporter: Occasionally, he'd get an offer. Then, always a call or voicemail like this -- I just don't want to see this be a distraction or any backlash. Some of the others have expressed their concern. Reporter: Adam smith, self-made man, reduced to nothing. His kids even trying to find ways out of his hell, making a "Shark tank"-like pitch. Instead of doing this, you do this! It's $15! $15? Okay, so we should put this on TV then, huh? Why would we do that? Because we need the money and have food for our family. Reporter: Adam's son, sawyer, sees a silver lining in this. You want him to have a full time job. No, I don't. Reporter: Why not? Because I want him to play. Reporter: So, that's the benefit when he hasn't been working, he's been hanging out with you guys. Most people eventually can move on from the online faux pas. Justine sacco, of the off-color AIDS and Africa joke, eventually landed another pr job. But not Adam smith. It's now nearly three years and he's still unemployed. He's turned to meditation and the wisdom of buddha. I am not a buddhist. I just found that to be really helpful. Reporter: He also sent us this video of him and his kids dancing to the song "Shake it off." Ah, the wisdom of Taylor swift. ? Shake it off shake it off ? Reporter: How long are you going to be made to pay for a mistake? I don't know. I do know that when you watch it for the first time -- I don't know how you live with yourself and work here. -- It feels like it just happened. Reporter: It's always going to be there.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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