Tiger King Director and Mogul Eric Goode Ignores Staff’s Request for Help
More like Eric Bad, am I right? I'll show myself out.
In a time when everyone is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, some communities are hit harder than others. Chief among them are restaurant workers: countless servers, bussers, bartenders, and chefs have been fired or let go without any sort of severance support. These workers are especially vulnerable, as many of them are undocumented immigrants who cannot access what little help the federal government is offering.
It’s a tragic story for folks who work at small, family-owned businesses which cannot afford to keep their staff employed. But many restaurants, bars, and cafes are not mom n’ pop shops. Especially in major cities, these establishments are owned by multi-millionaires, many of whom have set up a support fund for their staff. But others have done, well, nothing.
Such is the case for Eric Goode, a hospitality mogul who owns several upscale hotels and restaurants in New York City, such as the Bowery Hotel, the Jane Hotel, the Waverly Inn, and B Bar and Grill, to name a few. But Goode has made headlines for a different reason. He’s the co-director and executive producer of the Netflix documentary series Tiger King.
A new exposé from David Mack at Buzzfeed News reveals that while Goode is enjoying the adulation that comes from Tiger King‘s wild success, he is hanging his employees out to dry.
Goode, who is worth over $60 million, has ignored his employees’ requests for aid. Goode sent a termination letter to the employees at B Bar and Grill, informing them that their coverage and benefits would be terminated immediately.
Former floor manager Luis Lugo sent Goode a letter asking for two weeks pay for the employees. Lugo said of the staff, “They have families, they have children, they have mortgages to pay, and they spent a lot of their life working for B Bar, … To have been profitable for so many years on the back of these people and not even say, ‘Hey, guys, here’s a couple thousand dollars’ seemed really unfair to me.”
In response, Goode gave a handful of employees one week’s salary, before laying everyone off via email. A GoFundMe has been set up for the workers, but so far less than $2,000 have been raised of a $50,000 goal.
For a multi-millionaire like Goode, $50,000 is chump change. Fellow restaurant moguls have taken steps to support their staff, like Danny Meyer (restaurateur and founder of Shake Shack) of the Union Square Hospitality Group. Meyer, who laid off 2,000 people, immediately set up a nonprofit fund for the employees and donated his entire salary to it.
Fellow executives took a pay cut, and the restaurants have mobilized to sell gift cards and run an online auction. So far, they’ve raised more than half a million dollars to support their staff. In addition, several companies and restaurants have collaborated to launch ROAR, the Relief Opportunity for All Restaurants to provide financial aid to NYC restaurant workers.
The Goode family made vague promises to help their employees in their termination letter, but so far nothing has materialized. No fundraisers, no donations, no plan. Meanwhile, Goode is still on the interview circuit for Tiger King and enjoying the runaway success of the docu-series.
Lugo said of his former boss, “And here Eric Goode is the number one trending thing in the country. It just doesn’t feel right given the nature of everything that’s been going on. I would have expected him to at least pay those employees two weeks of paid time off … You’re the director of Tiger King and you own the Jane Hotel and you’re not a small mom-and-pop shop that’s struggling. You’re someone that has the financial resources to make a difference.”
Yesterday, I wrote this story about the director of Tiger King.
This morning, I’ve woken up to an email from Carole Baskin (!) saying “great job.”
It is signed “For the cats, Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue”https://t.co/KdxJaLWecq
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 15, 2020
Eat the rich, or better yet, feed them to the tigers.
(via Buzzfeed News, image: screencap/ABC)
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