The North Carolina woman who said she discovered a butter-drawn swastika on the bun of her McDonald’s chicken sandwich feels “bad that someone was fired” but said she still worries that the employee failed to understand the gravity of the stunt.
“I felt so sick,” Charleigh Matice, 32, told ABC News today. “Did someone think this is a joke?”
Matice said she ordered a chicken sandwich at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Morehead City, North Carolina, last week. Just when she was about to put mayonnaise on her bun, she noticed the swastika drawn on the bread with what looked like butter.
“It took me back for a minute,” Matice said of the symbol of Nazism. “It was so offensive.”
Matice said she was later told that the employee drew the symbol because “he was bored.”
“I don’t know how old he was,” said Matice, who entered the restaurant to alert management after finding the symbol. “I went back into the kitchen, I saw two white males who looked like they were both in their late 20s.”
The owner of the local McDonald’s restaurant took swift action after learning of the incident, saying they terminated the employee who allegedly drew the sign.
“I feel bad that someone was fired,” Matice said. “But in this tough economy, where so many people can’t get jobs, you should have professionalism."
McDonald’s, in a statement from franchise owner Dulcy Purcell, said: “We are very sorry for the service that our customers received, and to be clear we have terminated the employee who was involved.”
“We do not tolerate that kind of behavior at McDonald’s, and it’s not what we stand for personally as owners,” the statement said. “It is about providing the best level of service and care to our customers, and anything less than that is unacceptable to us.”
Matice, who said she is Christian, said she worried that that the employee didn’t understand why his actions were so offensive.
“My grandfather fought in World War II in the Pacific,” Matice said. “My husband’s great-grandmother was from Armenia. She was tattooed and put in a concentration camp [during the Turkish-Armenian war]. There’s still a number on her wrist.
“She was forced to flee to America,” Matice said.
“Over six million Jewish people died under that symbol and people forget about it because of lack of education and lack of compassion.”
Matice said her intention was not to spark anger, but to raise awareness. She's not upset with the restaurant, she said.
“I know that the sign was used for many good things before the Holocaust,” Matice said. “But people are not ready for that sign to come back yet. “I think we still need to have a lot of conversation about this.