The Bo Who Cried Racism
Whether you remember Bo Bice or not, he was the runner-up to Carrie Underwood in the fourth season of American Idol.
Notable for his flowing locks and rocker’s persona, Bice wowed the judges at his Orlando audition and continued to win viewers’ hearts all the way until the finale.
Over the past decade, Bo has continued to tour and put out new music and albums, but the biggest headlines come from just this past week following an unfortunate encounter the rocker had in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. At a Popeyes chicken restaurant. After he was called white.
About a Bo
From the start, something about Bo stole the hearts of Americans and American Idol fans. Was it his long hair? His sweet Southern twang? Or maybe it was his raw talent. Bice himself said at his 2004 audition that the show could use somebody with a rocker persona, and we certainly got it, right up until the last episode.
Born Harold Elwin Bice, Jr., the singer was called “Bogart” in his youth, which he eventually shortened to Bo. The alliterative name would go on to raise some eyebrows, and even the American Idol judges had some fun repeating it after Bice first introduced himself at his audition. Their teasing, however, would be nothing for what was to come.
Love That Teasin’ From Popeyes
Over a decade after his close defeat on Idol, Bo continues to tour and produce music, albeit with a fresh new haircut.
While passing through Atlanta’s airport last week, however, even his pleasant persona and cool looks couldn’t stop him from getting made fun of. After ordering a meal, a Popeyes employee proceeded to mock out his name, calling him “Bow-Bow,” “Boo-Boo,” and “Bo-Bo” for several minutes while he ate. Then it got worse.
Having rung up his order incorrectly, Bo’s order was served a second time, to which the same employee announced, “He already got his, that white boy over there.”
Reaction and Rant
Seriously upset from the encounter, Bo turned to social media to report his story. After explaining how he was teased, Bice explained how he felt he was a victim of racism, but that no appropriate action was taken since he is a white man. He wrote,
“Now, if the tables had been turned and I as a white male treated any person of ethnicity anyway resembling how she spoke to and treated me I’d be considered insensitive and racist. Sooooo…. Why is it that 3 or 4 @PopeyesChicken employees can openly mock a courteous PAYING customer in front of an airport terminal of people without any recourse and no apology? Notice I posted this to Twitter yesterday and the company hasn’t even taken notice or apologized for the behavior of THEIR RACIST EMPLOYEES. [….] I guess there is something to say for consistency. Shameful! [….] Maybe Popeyes should take a few notes on how to treat their customer… If they think their employees at ATL Airport are doing a good job at customer service, THEY ARE CLUCKING CRAZY!!!!! Cheers BB”
But after sharing his story to open dialogue on the “double standard” of racism in America, Facebook deleted his post, citing that it didn’t follow their Community Standards. That’s when things escalated even more.
See his tearful interview on Fox News. Keep reading!