Update: A pastor who accused a Whole Foods employee of writing a homophobic slur on a cake he purchased from a Texas store has dropped his lawsuit and apologized for "questioning the company’s commitment to its values," the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday. “The company did nothing wrong,” Jordan Brown said in a statement to the Texas paper. “I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story.” The grocery chain issued a statement of its own, saying it is “very pleased that the truth has come to light.” It has dropped a countersuit against Brown. “Given Mr. Brown’s apology and public admission that his story was a complete fabrication, we see no reason to move forward with our countersuit to defend the integrity of our brand and team members,” the statement read.
The following story was originally published on April 20, 2016. Whole Foods and a Texas pastor are in a legal battle over one very offensive cake. Whole Foods Market announced on Wednesday morning that it plans to file a suit against Jordan Brown, an openly gay Texas man who has publicly accused the grocery chain of writing a homophobic slur on a cake he purchased from the Whole Foods bakery department, according to NBC News. On Thursday afternoon, Brown, pastor at the Church of Open Doors in Austin, TX, purchased a cake that he alleged was defaced with a homophobic slur. Brown said in a video that he spoke to a store employee who offered an apology at first, but then called him back later in the day to say that no one from the store had written the offensive word and there was nothing the company could do. Brown and his lawyer filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods on Monday, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress. On Wednesday, Whole Foods released a statement countering Brown’s claims and declaring an intent to take legal action. “After a deeper investigation of Mr. Brown’s claim, we believe his accusations are fraudulent,” the release began. The statement points out that though the top of the cake and any writing would be clearly visible through the packaging, Brown claims not to have seen the slur until he left the store. The store also alleges that the scanning label was moved from where it appears to be in a surveillance video of the purchase. Whole Foods said that it stands behind the bakery employee, who is also a member of the LGBTQ community. An email request sent to Jordan Brown and the Church of Open Doors for comment was not immediately returned.