Florida CEO apologizes for racist outburst at Fresno bartender, but she’s not accepting it

Local News

In a now viral video, Jason Wood is seen saying a number of racial comments and slurs at bartender Rebecca Hernandez

FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Another viral video of a racially charged outburst makes the round online, this time it’s directed at a Fresno bartender.

Since it happened Tuesday, the man in the video — Jason Wood — has apologized for his behavior. But, Rebecca Hernandez — the bartender who recorded the video — isn’t accepting it.

Hernandez said it started over Wood’s refusal to wear a mask while inside Out of the Barrel in Fresno’s Fig Garden Village. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the taproom has a policy where customers are required to wear masks while inside the building when ordering or paying for food or drinks.

However, it didn’t escalate until Hernandez and her co-worker cut Wood off. Aside from mocking her, Wood hurled several racially charged, anti-Middle Eastern comments and slurs.

Hernandez knew to document every single second.

“I stand at five-foot-two, I’m not a large person. When you’re faced with someone being aggressive and hostile toward you — and then being racist — that creates such a very uncomfortable situation where I don’t think anyone would feel safe,” she said.

In a video she posted to her Instagram on Wednesday, Wood is seen saying, “Dark-haired dumb—, sand n—-r.” He also identifies himself and says he’s the CEO of Actionable Insights.

Wood is remorseful over what happened.

“She had every right to cut me off and I’m very sorry. I feel absolutely horrible,” said Wood. “I’m not a racist. I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”

Hernandez doesn’t believe the apology is genuine.

“Jason Wood decided to be a racist after a few beers. I fully believe people are their real selves when they are drinking,” she said.

When he saw the video, Islamic Cultural Center director Reza Nekumanesh said he unfortunately wasn’t surprised — particularly with what exactly was said. He said people need to get rid fo their personal biases for anything to change.

“That way when we are in a situation or an encounter with another fellow human being, we’re not projecting all these ideas we have of a particular peoples on them,” Nekumanesh said. “Then we can start to have a real relationship.”

If there’s any positive to take from this, Hernandez said she knows Fresno’s community has her back.

“I’ve only been here since January and I feel extremely embraced and loved — just as much as I would back home,” she said.

Hernandez asks everyone to respect business’ mask policies, saying it’s not only protecting yourself, but also the workers that are there to serve you.

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