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6.18.20

Charlotte Observer: Man In Tillis Campaign Ad Owns A Restaurant At Center Of A Racial Bias Suit

A shocking new report from the Charlotte Observer revealed Thursday afternoon that Thom Tillis’ new ad features a restaurant owner at the center of a racial discrimination lawsuit.

Jeff Lancaster, the owner of Lancaster’s BBQ, appears at the end of Tillis’ most recent TV spot. Lancaster’s BBQ is at the center of a federal court case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for racial bias. 

A former employee alleges that “a white co-worker repeatedly called her the n-word and then, according to the suit, ‘doused her face and chest with hot barbeque sauce and hit her with a metal pan,’” according to the Charlotte Observer. 

The Observer also reported that the employee whose behavior is in question “was fired, only to be rehired four months later.”

Read the full story below.


Charlotte Observer: Man in Tillis campaign ad owns a restaurant at center of a racial bias suit

By Jim Morrill – June 18, 2020

  • A man featured in a campaign TV ad for Republican Sen. Thom Tillis owns a restaurant at the center of a federal lawsuit over racial bias.
  • The ad features Tillis walking through a restaurant kitchen talking about how he started his career as a short order cook and then sitting at a table in Jeffrey’s Restaurant in Mooresville with owner Jeff Lancaster. Lancaster also owns Lancaster’s BBQ in Mooresville.
  • Lancaster is expected to be in federal court in Statesville next month for a trial that could determine whether his barbecue restaurant is liable in a racial discrimination case brought by a former employee.
  • The case was brought in 2018 by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • The Tillis campaign said the senator did not know Lancaster or know about the EEOC suit. His restaurant was chosen because it was convenient, the campaign said.
  • The former Lancaster’s employee, Shana Knox, who is black, alleges that a white co-worker repeatedly called her the n-word and then, according to the suit, “doused her face and chest with hot barbeque sauce and hit her with a metal pan.”
  • The white employee, Chris Bishop, was fired, only to be rehired four months later.