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Offbeat Duke exec’s complaint about rap song gets two employees fired

17:15  09 may  2018
17:15  09 may  2018 Source:   nydailynews.com

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A pair of baristas were fired after Duke University executive complained about playing a rap song at the on-campus coffee shop. “ Duke University has instructed us to terminate the employees that were working that day,” she said, but repeatedly told the two they were good employees .

143323- duke - exec - s - complaint - about - rap - song - gets - two - employees - fired /. Baristas were playing the rap song ‘ Get Paid.’ A Duke VP - www.washingtonpost.com. A Duke VP complained — and they got fired , they say.

Larry Moneta (r.) denied he had anything to do with the workers' firing. © Gerry Broome/AP Larry Moneta (r.) denied he had anything to do with the workers' firing. A pair of baristas were fired after a Duke University executive — who previously touted freedom of speech — complained about playing a rap song at the on-campus coffee house where they worked.

Coffee shop workers Britni Brown and Kevin Simmons were handed their walking papers Monday because “Get Paid” by Young Dolph played throughout Duke’s Joe Van Gogh spot.

The lyrical rift began Friday afternoon, when Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta went to get his typical vegan muffin and tea, Indy Week reported.

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A Duke University official who just last month tweeted about the importance of freedom of expression is now under fire after his complaints about rap music at a campus coffee shop led to the firing of two of the shop’ s employees .

He approached Brown, who was working at the register at the time, over the lyrics heavily featuring the N-word.

The music was reportedly part of a Spotify playlist the staff maintained, which Brown told Indy Week she was in charge of that day.

She said the music was quickly turned off, she apologized and offered to comp his tea and muffin.

“No,” Moneta replied, Brown told Indy Week. “Ring me up for it.”

Simmons said he didn’t hear the exchange because he was making drinks, but saw his colleague apologizing to the executive and silencing the music.

Joe Van Gogh owner Robbie Roberts called Brown within 10 minutes of the incident to ask about what happened, she told Indy Week.

The coffee executive told her that Robert Coffey, Duke’s head of dining services, called him about the offensive lyrics.

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'I am concerned about the line "I f****d her up real good"': Duke official' s complaint about rap song in campus coffee shop gets two baristas fired . Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, visited Joe Van Gogh on May 4.

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Brown said she apologized to her boss and took full responsibility.

But she and Simmons were called to Joe Van Gogh’s North Carolina headquarters on Monday, however, where the company’s human resources representative said they had to resign.

“Joe Van Gogh is contracted by Duke University, so we essentially work for them. And they can shut us down at any point,” the HP rep, Amanda Wiley, told the pair in audio obtained by Indy Week.

“Duke University has instructed us to terminate the employees that were working that day,” she said, but repeatedly told the two they were good employees.

Brown and Simmons could either choose to resign, thus getting a severance, or be fired.

Simmons interjected that he was making drinks and had no control over the playlist.

Brown, who is black, interjected that Simmons, who’s white, shouldn’t be grouped into the termination.

“I feel like you guys were trying to cover it up as to make it not look discriminatory for firing a person of color,” she told Wiley in the recording.

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A Duke University official just tweeted about the importance of freedom of speech is now on fire after his complaint about rap music at a campus cafe resulted in two of the shop' s employees shooting.

Outrage has flowed freely over the story of Larry Moneta, the Duke University administrator whose distaste for a rap song featuring the N-word reportedly led to the firing of two At the time, the song “ Get Paid,” by Young Dolph, was playing -- a rap that repeats the N-word continually in its refrain.

“This is coming from the university,” Wiley responded.

Roberts, the coffee house owner, told Indy Week that the company doesn’t discuss personnel issues.

Moneta, in an email to the Duke Chronicle, claimed he always enjoyed a “cordial relationship” with the Joe Van Gogh staff. But he said the line “I f---ed her up so good” set him off. The lyric he was likely referring to is actually “I f---ed her so good.”

“I insisted on paying for my purchase and left the store,” he told the student newspaper. “I then contacted the director of Duke Dining to express my concerns and that was the end of my involvement.”

He also disputed that Duke ordered the firing, saying it was all Joe Van Gogh’s choice.

Moneta also addressed criticism that he was a hypocrite, because he previously championed freedom of speech — including speaking against restrictions on hate speech.

"To those who feel that I’ve flipped on my positions on free expression, I say this,” he said to the Duke Chronicle. “The artist who wrote, recorded and performed the music is absolutely entitled to do so, however offensive I might find the lyrics.”

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