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Forest Whitaker Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting on the Upper West Side

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Forest Whitaker attends the PeaceEarth foundation fundraising gala at Banqueting House on November 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Photo: Ben Pruchnie/2012 Getty Images

Actor Forest Whitaker’s morning deli run turned into an embarrassing, racially tinged incident on Friday. Because he’s a celebrity but also just like us, Whitaker dropped by Morningside Heights’ Milano Market for a pre-work cup of yogurt. Not finding what he needed, he was headed for the store’s exit when an employee accused him of “taking something” and insisted on a pat-down. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t find any pilfered Smart Water or mini-Toblerones.

Upon realizing that he had just needlessly frisked an innocent person/Oscar winner, the Milano worker blamed his accusation on the “bad angle” of the store’s security cameras and offered Whitaker free food to make up for the trouble. He also asked Whitaker not to call the cops, which he worried would result in the loss of his job. While Whitaker was nice enough to oblige the request, his publicist says that he was definitely “troubled” by the whole thing. “This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into the deli,” she told the New York Daily News. “Forest asked that, in the future, the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner.” 

Whitaker Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting on UWS