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Angry Orchard apologizes after allegations of racial bias

July 23, 2019

WALDEN, N.Y. (AP) — Angry Orchard has issued an apology and fired a manager at its Hudson Valley cidery following allegations of racial bias against black patrons who were celebrating a marriage proposal.

Cathy-Marie Hamlet wrote on Facebook that white security employees at the Walden cider garden interrupted her fiance as he was proposing to her Sunday, accusing him of stealing a T-shirt. Hamlet said she and her friends were approached multiple times by security personnel who made them empty their bags and pockets.

Hamlet said she was humiliated and left with her friends in tears.

In a statement, Angry Orchard said the situation was “badly mishandled” by employees. It announced staff training addressing “security awareness and unconscious bias.”

Angry Orchard spokeswoman Jessica Paar said she also apologized directly to Hamlet by phone.

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