This past April, a gay Texas pastor named Jordan Brown filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods, alleging that a customized cake he purchased from the grocer had an anti-gay slur written on it in icing.
Brown's initial allegation said that after ordering a cake with the phrase “Love Wins” on it, he instead received a cake with his requested phrase — as well as an additional homophobic slur written directly below it.
On May 16, however, the pastor changed his tune.
According to KVUE, Brown said in a statement that he was “wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story.”
“I want to apologize to Whole Foods and its team members for questioning the company’s commitment to its values, and especially the baker associate who I understand was put in a terrible position because of my actions,” he continued.
Since the allegation surfaced, Whole Foods has vocally defended both its employee and the corporation; one day after Brown accused the chain, Whole Foods fired back by denouncing the pastor as a fraud, and vowing to press a counter-suit that sought $100,000, as reported by The New York Times.
"Our bakery team member wrote 'Love Wins' at the top of the cake, which was visible to Mr. Brown through the clear portion of the packaging," Whole Foods wrote in a press release at the time. "That’s exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store. Whole Foods Market has a strict policy that prohibits team members from accepting or designing bakery orders that include language or images that are offensive."
“We stand behind our bakery team member, who is part of the LGBTQ community, and we appreciate the team members and shoppers who recognize that this claim is completely false and directly contradicts Whole Foods Market’s inclusive culture, which celebrates diversity,” the release added.
Whole Foods signed off its note with a picture of its team members at the Whole Foods Market Lamar Store in Austin, Texas.
“I apologize to the LGBT community for diverting attention from real issues,” Brown's Monday statement continued. “I also want to apologize to my partner, my family, my church family, and my attorney.”
Whole Foods has since issued a statement on its online newsroom in response to Brown's apology:
"We're very pleased that the truth has come to light. Given Mr. Brown's apology and public admission that his story was a complete fabrication, we see no reason to move forward with our counter suit to defend the integrity of our brand and team members."