Woman Accused of Drawing Racist Image on Sandwich Wrapper Fired From N.Y. Market

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A woman was fired from her job at a market in Buffalo, New York, after one of her customers said she called him a monkey, and then drew a monkey on his sandwich wrapper.

The employee, Cynthia Passanisi said she did not draw a monkey and doesn’t understand why the allegations were even made.

“That was a smiley face, it was not a monkey,” Passanisi told WKBW. “That’s how I draw mine…I’m sorry I’m not an artist.”

Passanisi had worked at Guercio & Sons market for about two years, WKBW reported.

“When I was in front of the store and he was at the register, I was standing with Christian and he turned around and said he was a Gorilla. I didn’t say that, I said ‘that’s not nice and I’m not racist,” she said.

Passanisi said she regularly waits on John Washington, a civil rights activist with the organization PUSH Buffalo, according to WGRZ.

“He is so nice, why would I have anything bad to say about him?”

Washington disagrees.

“Well I think she’s lying. She did call me a monkey,” said Washington. “There’s multiple people who have acknowledged that she did that multiple times.”

“I think it’s clear what she drew,” Washington said.

The owner of the store apologized to Washington and said he wished Washington would have come to a manager before leaving the store, WGRZ reported.

“John, we would like to apologize to you in person. From my heart to yours, I’m sorry, it was not right,” Lisa Guercio told the television station.

Passanisi said she found out she was fired by watching the news.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.