The mother of the 9-year-old boy who was denied entry at a Maryland restaurant is taking legal action.
On Tuesday’s episode of “TMZ Live,” Marcia Grant and attorney Donte Mills announced they will file a lawsuit against Atlas Restaurant Group, the company that owns restaurant Ouzo Bay. Last month, the Baltimore eatery refused to allow Grant’s son Dallas in because he was wearing “athletic wear” consisting of a T-shirt and drawstring shorts.
However, as seen in a video posted to Grant’s Facebook, Grant mentions to a manager that a white child — wearing a similar outfit of a T-shirt, athletic sneakers, and shorts — appears to have been served.
“We’re moving forward with the lawsuit,” Mills told the entertainment news show. “An apology is not sufficient, and it also misses the mark. So, also what they did is they said they changed their dress code policy. This is not about the dress code. You have the right to have a dress code. We’re saying apply it evenly and treat everyone fairly. And they have not even addressed it at all.”
After the incident, Atlas issued a statement on June 22 in which they apologized to Grant and her son, and said that they “immediately revised our dress code policy so that children 12 years old and younger, who are accompanied by an adult, will not be subject to a dress code at any Atlas property.”
Today, we learned of an incredibly disturbing incident that occurred at one of our restaurants in Baltimore, Ouzo Bay. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son & everyone impacted by this painful incident. This situation does not represent who or what Atlas stands for. pic.twitter.com/jsofGRLVw1— Atlas Restaurant Group (@AtlasBaltimore) June 23, 2020
The next day, Atlas announced that after “an assertive internal investigation,” two Ouzo Bay managers “have been separated from and are no longer with the organization.”
The company also said they attempted to contact Grant and her son but were not successful.
Lawsuit aside, Grant opened up about the emotional impact that this experience has had on her young son.
“It was really hard. It was hard for Dallas, because Dallas had never been met with racism,” she told “TMZ Live.” “Dallas just turned 9 in April and I never explained that to him. He has white friends and they’re always taught that they’re all the same, so I didn’t prepare him for racism.
Mills add, “When I first spoke to Dallas, I asked him how he felt and what did he want people to know about this… What he told me was he didn’t want people to be racist. And I asked him why. And he said, ‘Because when you’re racist, it hurts people’s feelings and it makes them sad, and it makes me sad.’”