Twitter users are going in on “Bodega Bro.”
Griffin Green, a recent college grad from the Midwest, received backlash this week after posting a TikTok criticizing NYC bodegas. The 22-year-old claimed he just moved to the Big Apple for a tech job, but was struggling to find a place where he could shop for groceries.
“OK, so I just moved to New York and I’m going to go grocery shopping, and so I type in like, ‘grocery stores,’ on my Apple Maps, and every fuckin’ one I go to…they’re like this shit,” Green said, before pointing the camera toward two corner stores. “Like bro, that’s not a grocery store. Like, I’m trying to get, like eggs, yogurt, like cheese—shit like that.”
Green then began filming inside one of the stores and proceeded to joke about the hot bar offerings.
“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,” he continued. “Like, where are the Krogers and, like, the Whole Foods at? I’m about to eat fuckin’ cereal and ramen for dinner, like what the fuck?”
Social media users immediately slammed Green’s comments as racist, and accused him of mocking the food desert issue in NYC’s underserved communities. The backlash intensified after some pointed to another video in which Green spoke about being the only white person in his gym.
“I’m in the Bronx for a few weeks so I’m like the only white dude in this whole gym,” he said, “So I got this NAACP shirt so these people vibe with me more.”
Online sleuths quickly discovered Green had relocated to NYC to work for the software company Outreach. After the videos were brought to its attention, the company confirmed Green was no longer an employee.
A representative for Outreach claimed Green’s termination wasn’t due to the aforementioned videos, but because he shared his confidential employment letter online.
“It is against company policy for employees to leak private and confidential information, and grounds for termination,” Andrew Schmitt, Outreach’s vice president of communications, told Reason. “We remain committed to building our culture that finds strength in our diversity, equity and inclusion—and a company where all can succeed.”
Green says he’s now “stuck” in NYC with a one-year lease and is seeking a new job. He’s asking the public to donate to a crowd-funding campaign that will help cover his living expenses in the meantime.
“People can be painted as these mean awful people when really they’re just trying to explore new things,” Green told Reason. “I was exploring New York for the first time…I didn’t know that people do grocery shopping at these corner stores. It was more of an intent to almost like make fun of myself for being a new person in the city.”