Kelly Mullins wrote a sad story on Facebook about how her granddaughter, Victoria, was shunned at a Jackson, Mississippi KFC. The little girl was attacked by three pit bulls, which left her with scarring and a bandage on her face. The grandmother claimed that Victoria was asked to leave the KFC while eating: "We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers."
As you can imagine, the response on Facebook and other social media sites was enormous, and news outlets were all over the story. KFC gave the family $30,000 for medical bills and issued this statement:
"KFC launched an investigation as soon as we were made aware of this report. We take this very seriously, as we have zero tolerance for any kind of hurtful or disrespectful actions toward our guests. Our investigation is ongoing, but we have been in touch with the family and are committed to doing something appropriate for this beautiful little girl and her family. We will also work with the franchisee to take appropriate action at the restaurant once the specifics of the incident are determined."
But the story didn't stack up. The family said they ordered mashed potatoes and iced tea, but there were no such orders that day, and the restaurant video showed no record of Victoria and her grandmother entering the building.
- Let's put the grandparenting question aside because I don't want to judge(!). What about the responsibility of reporters? Huffington Post, CNN, and others reported the story with only the grandmother's evidence.
- Should KFC ask for the $30,000 back? Should the company press criminal charges?
- The family raised an additional $135,000 for the girl as a result of this publicity. Should they be forced to return the donations?