Forest Whitaker, an Academy Award winning actor and Emmy winning producer, is furious with the NYC deli Milano Market over a false shoplifting charge, TMZ reported on Feb. 16.
On Friday, Feb. 15 Whitaker was on his way out of Milano Market on the Upper West Side when an employee stopped him and accused him of swiping an item from one of the shelves in the upscale deli. An eyewitness told TMZ that the employee proceeded to frisk Forest. The employee’s pat down did not yield any items from the Milano Market.
Whitaker’s rights were violated and he was humiliated in public, not only by the false accusation, but by the public pat down. A representative for the Oscar winner told TMZ:
“This is an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into the deli. What is most unfortunate about this situation is the inappropriate way store employees are treating the patrons of their establishment. Frisking individuals without proof/evidence is a violation of rights.”
The Milano Market declined to comment on the situation. Whitaker’s representative said that:
“Forest did not call the authorities at the request of the worker who was in fear of losing his employment. Forest asked that, in the future, the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner.”
Forest Whitaker received a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.” Whitaker also won an Emmy award for “Door to Door” starring William H. Macy in 2002 in which he was an executive producer.