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Australia Mildura McDonald's franchisee filmed claiming his neighbour is not a 'true Aboriginal'

09:12  15 december  2019
09:12  15 december  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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McDonald ' s franchisee who told an indigenous artist he wasn't a real Aboriginal while his wife tried The distressing footage shows a white couple berating an Aboriginal family It was filmed in Mildura , Victoria, after the couple appeared on the family's drive

Comments in video were ‘unacceptable’ and do not reflect the beliefs of the company’, the fast-food chain said.

Karen Ridge tried to rip Robby Wirramanda Knight's Aboriginal flag from his home. (ABC News: Robby Wirramanda Knight)© Provided by ABC NEWS Karen Ridge tried to rip Robby Wirramanda Knight's Aboriginal flag from his home. (ABC News: Robby Wirramanda Knight)

A franchise owner's agreement with McDonald's has been cancelled "effective immediately" after he was filmed claiming his neighbour is not a "true Aboriginal" while a woman tried to pull down an Aboriginal flag.

The video shows artist Robby Wirramanda Knight being confronted by his neighbours Robert Vigors and Karen Ridge over his Indigenous heritage.

Mr Knight said he posted the video on social media hoping it would help combat racial "ignorance".

McDonald's franchisee removed after video shows him berating Aboriginal neighbour

  McDonald's franchisee removed after video shows him berating Aboriginal neighbour McDonald's has taken over the operation of two restaurants after a video depicting a franchise owner and a woman named Karen attempting to tear down an Aboriginal flag raised at the home of an Indigenous family went viral.McDonald's has taken over the operation of two restaurants in north-west Victoria after a viral video showed a franchise owner berating an Indigenous artist while a woman attempts to tear down an Aboriginal flag.

It was filmed in Mildura , Victoria, after the couple appeared on the family' s drive. Even the family' s A video showing a white couple trying to tear down an Aboriginal flag outside a family' s home has But their neighbours seemed to take serious issue with the emblem, with the man accusing them of

Many Aboriginal people lived around the site of Mildura because of the abundant food. In 1886, Canadian-American irrigator George Chaffey came to Australia and selected a derelict sheep station known as Mildura as the site for his first irrigation settlement, signing an agreement with the Victorian

The video shows Ms Ridge trying to pull down Mr Knight's Aboriginal flag and saying "it's a disgrace".

"Which half of you is Aboriginal? You are not Aboriginal," Ms Ridge said.

Mr Vigors then asked Mr Knight "which 1 per cent of" him was Aboriginal.

"You claiming to be Aboriginal? You make me laugh. People like you make a mockery of true Aboriginals," Mr Vigors said.

"What's a true Aboriginal?" Mr Knight said.

A McDonald's spokesman said the comments made by Mr Vigors were "unacceptable" and did "not reflect the beliefs of the company as an inclusive workplace".

Until today, Mr Vigors was the owner of Mildura McDonald's but in a separate statement the McDonald's spokesman said the company had "taken over the operation" of the franchise and that Mr Vigors had "left the system" and was "no longer involved".

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McDonald ' s says that is not true . ''We certainly have more than one black operator in a white neighborhood,'' said Stephanie Skurdy, a spokesman Two years ago, Mr. Jackson wrote McDonald ' s on behalf of his Operation PUSH to complain that blacks felt they were ''being subjected to a double

“Employers like McDonald ’ s seek to avoid recognizing the rights of their employees by claiming that they are not really their employer, despite exercising “ McDonald ’ s should no longer be able to hide behind its franchisees .” The next phase will unfold before administrative law judges hearing the

"The matter is currently under investigation," the spokesman said.

McDonald's would not confirm whether or not their reasoning for the takeover was linked to the video. It believed Mr Vigors was looking to step away from the business anyway.

Mr Vigors has been approached multiple times for comment on the phone and at his home.

Ms Ridge owns local travel company Mildura Travel and Cruise and replied to a Facebook message from the ABC saying she has "received death threats" and does not "feel safe commenting at this time".

Ms Ridge claims "there are always two sides to every story" and alleges "there was a great deal of harassment before this event".

Mr Knight told the ABC racist attacks on Indigenous Australians had to stop and hoped the video would raise awareness.

"It's just ignorance, so if anything, if the video can help to remove a little bit of the ignorance from society it would be great," Mr Knight said.

"All I'm asking for is the old Aussie fair go. For someone to call me a government bludger is a sickening insult, especially given how hard I've worked to try and dig myself out of this intergenerational rut that I was born into."

Mildura Police Sergeant Leigh Macintyre said police were "conducting an ongoing investigation into the matter".

"No charges have been laid at this stage. Uniform police did attend," Sergeant Macintyre said.

A sit-in at Mildura McDonald's was planned for Sunday afternoon but was called off after comments from McDonald's emerged.

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