Apparently #LaughingWhileBlack Gets You Kicked Off a Napa Valley Wine Train

Apparently #LaughingWhileBlack Gets You Kicked Off a Napa Valley Wine Train

The company has issued an apology.

Published August 26, 2015

Update: Wednesday, Aug. 26, 12:27 p.m.

The Napa Valley Wine Train company has issued an apology to the women who were kicked off the train last weekend. 

"The Napa Valley Wine Train was 100 percent wrong in its handling of this issue," CEO Anthony "Tony" Giaccio said in a statement. "We accept full responsibility for our failures and for the chain of events that led to this regrettable treatment of our guests."

Previous: Monday, Aug. 24, 11:08 a.m.


You’re in Napa Valley. You’re talking, laughing and kiki-ing while sipping wine on an 18-mile stretch of vineyards and wineries.

But quickly, things start to not be so funny. A manager on the train approaches you and your friends and asks you to be quiet. Then, at the next station stop, you’re escorted off the train as officers from the Napa Valley Railroad and St. Helena police departments await you.

This is what happened to 11 African-American women on the Napa Valley Wine Train over the weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The group, which is a book club named Sisters on the Reading Edge, was taking its annual tour through wine country.

“It was humiliating. I’m really offended to be quite honest,” said Lisa Johnson, 47, who is a member of the group. “I felt like it was a racist attack on us. I feel like we were being singled out.”

No arrests were made at the station, and the company will conduct an investigation to make sure its policies were followed during the incident.

Napa Valley Wine Train spokeswoman Kira Devitt said the company “received complaints from several parties in the same car and after three attempts from staff, requesting that the group keep the noise to an acceptable level, they were removed from the train and offered transportation back to the station in Napa.”

Johnson says that the group received full refunds and free pictures upon arriving at the station. But they are still seeking an apology from the company.

On Twitter, the #LaughingWhileBlack hashtag took off once Johnson shared her story on her Facebook page.

Watch the BET News Special about the whole ordeal in the video below.

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(Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)

Written by BET-Staff

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