Local doughnut shop owner ousted from Raleigh food hall, says racist comments on Facebook the result of a hack
Posted June 3, 2020 2:20 p.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2020 12:18 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A local doughnut shop has been removed as a tenant at a Raleigh food hall after its owner was accused of making racist comments on Facebook.
In a series of comments on Facebook, Josh Johnson, owner of Raleigh Mini Donut Company and Raleigh Photo Booth Co., is shown using the the n-word, using the phrase "typical blacks" and writing that black lives "don't matter."
While commenting on one Facebook live video, Johnson is shown making the comment "Dirty low life (n-words)" and in another post calling a black woman a "slave."
When Morgan Street Food Hall, where the donut company is a tenant, was made aware of the comments Tuesday, the shop was removed as a vendor that afternoon, food hall owner Niall Hanley said.
"There is zero time and zero place for anything like that, full stop," Hanley told WRAL on Wednesday. "We did some verification on our end and at that stage, it was just so ridiculous and the comments so vile, I just made the decision that was it. There was no longer a place for this company on Morgan Street."
Activist Kyle Hanlin made Hanley aware of the posts.
"Someone commented on my page – on my posting – said, 'I am sure his excuse will be he was hacked,'" Hanlin said.
In an interview with WRAL News on Wednesday, Johnson said his Facebook account had been hacked and that he had been unaware of the posts because he was on vacation.
"I have seen the posts. I did not post those posts. My account was compromised last Thursday," Johnson said.
Johnson says he found out about the posts on Sunday but could not get access to his account to delete the comments right away. To get control of his account back, Johnson said he had to verify his identity with Facebook, which included submitting a copy of his photo ID.
"I finally regained access to my account. I made public apologies to the public – that these posts do not come from me, truthfully, do not come from me," Johnson said.
Johnson provided WRAL with a screenshot of a post his wife, Nicole, made on the Raleigh Mini Donut Facebook page on Friday night saying that the company's account had been compromised but the problem had been resolved with the account being "recovered fully."
"They were able to get a few disgusting messages sent to random people that we are not associated with," the post stated.
Social media pages for both of Johnson's businesses had been disabled on Wednesday.
"I really apologize to the community of Raleigh and the whole Triangle for these posts made on my behalf," Johnson said.
This isn't the first time Johnson has been accused of making racist comments. A Facebook post dating back to March 2019 shows screenshots of comments made from Johnson's account showing support for the Confederate flag and Confederate monuments.