MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A five-star restaurant in downtown Memphis found itself at the center of protests for racial equality.
It all started after allegations took off on social media by former employees of Flight that suggested the restaurant practiced racial and sexual discrimination.
Protestors were outside of Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar in downtown Memphis over the weekend upset about social media posts that accused the restaurant's owners of racism and sexism.
Dylan Turner worked at Flight as a barback in 2015.
“The work environment was what you could describe as toxic,” he said.
In his five months assisting servers, he said he witnessed black folks ready to dine limited to certain areas of the restaurant.
“There was a definite difference between the upstairs and downstairs according to skin color,” Turner said. “I remember thinking that was really messed up.”
Though he initially questioned the house rules, he went along because it was encouraged.
Turner said he does not recall having any black co-workers during his stint and suggests the restaurant preferred only to hire white workers who were in shape.
“There were no overweight people that worked there,” he said. “Like none.”
He also said the female employees were heavily criticized for their appearance.
“...they would hound the girls about makeup,” he said.
Turner is among several employees speaking out now because he said it’s the right thing to do.
“It’s not about how I feel,” Turner said. “It's ok if I feel a little temporary discomfort for all these people who have been mistreated.”
Over the weekend, protestors made rounds at restaurants linked to the owners.
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