A McDonald’s Taiwan apology on Wednesday came in the wake of widespread protests by Down syndrome patients and disability groups after one of the chain’s outlets refused service to a customer who wanted to buy an ice cream on Saturday. On Thursday, advocacy groups said that they would accept the apology, but they hinted that they were still upset with McDonald’s delayed and incomplete response to the episode.
In the June 22 incident, a woman with Down Syndrome named Wang tried to place her order at an outlet in Kaohsiung. The manager instead called the police to have her removed. According to a report in Focus Taiwan, he accused her of being a homeless person who was shouting and disturbing the other patrons.
However, many members of disabled groups believe that he was actually practicing discrimination against the woman.
In the days since the incident, several protests were held outside McDonald’s headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan.
The McDonald’s Taiwan apology came directly from McDonald’s Taiwan operation vice president Susan Lu, who admitted at a Wednesday news conference that Wang’s treatment was wrong. Lu said:
“I think it’s very improper that the restaurant contacted the police to handle the matter in this isolated case…I apologize that this caused an unpleasant dining experience for Ms Wang.”
Representatives from disability groups have called for the McDonald’s restaurant to release the surveillance video, which they believe will prove that the manager was simply discriminating against Wang.
However, McDonald’s Taiwan has refused to do that.
Lin Cheng-hsia, president of the Republic of China Down’s Syndrome Foundation, said that they will now stop the protests and accept the apology:
“We chose to let the matter drop to reduce the social disharmony, even though the truth remains unknown as McDonald’s has not released the surveillance camera video.”
They’re apparently ready to move on in the wake of the McDonald’s Taiwan apology.