On Friday, May 4, Larry Moneta, the vice president for student affairs, walked into the Joe Van Gogh coffee shop at Duke University and heard Young Dolph’s song “Get Paid,” which has lyrics that includes the n-word and curses. Moneta got Britni Brown, the Black woman working the register, fired—although she immediately apologized for the song selection. Kevin Simmons, who is White, was working that day and was also fired. Young Dolph heard about the story and had the best reaction.
The Memphis rapper flew Britni and Kevin out to his show in Miami, Florida. He told the crowd, “So check this out, this what we gonna do. I know for a fact that the VP at that school get money, but he don’t get money like Dolph. So until y’all get a new job, I got $20,000 for y’all right now.” Watch below:
Pretty classy from Dolph.
Larry Moneta released a statement to the Duke Chronicle, which read, “The employees who chose to play the song in a business establishment on the Duke campus made a poor decision which was conveyed to the JVG management. How they responded to the employees’ behavior was solely at their discretion.” IndyWeek.com points out that Moneta blaming JVG is a contradiction, writing, “To be clear, that is the opposite of what Joe Van Gogh’s human relations official told Brown and Simmons as they were being terminated.” Joe Van Gogh told Brown and Simmons they were terminated because of Moneta and Duke University.
Both Brown and Simmons accepted severance packages and are now looking for new employment. However, the owner of Joe Van Gogh Robbie Roberts is issued an apology on May 9. See below:
“Joe Van Gogh apologizes to our employees, customers and community for how we handled a situation involving our Duke University store. As you have read, it is true that Joe Van Gogh is a contractor to Duke. We attempted to understand Duke’s position in this case, but we should have taken a different approach in making personnel decisions. As the owner of the business, I take full responsibility for Joe Van Gogh’s actions. I apologize to all of the people directly involved and those who have been touched or offended, of which there are many. We are taking steps to remedy this matter, but all company personnel issues are private and will remain private. Again, my truly sincere apologies.”
No word on how they remedied this situation just yet. But as of now, it appears Brown and Simmons have not been rehired.