Update: Oct. 6, 2015, 4:15 p.m.
Gerod Roth spoke to Fox News exclusively to tell his side of the story regarding his now infamous Facebook selfie.
"I just really feel upset, not only with myself, but also the character that was based off the comments that my friends made."
He then went on to say that 3-year-old Cayden was not the only one hurt in all of this. "I feel as if not only poor Cayden himself has been victimized, but also myself — I’ve been targeted," he said.
He concluded his brief interview insisting that he didn't attend for his post to go left. "A person said, ‘Oh, you mean to tell me that you just have wild kids running throughout your office building?’ And that’s when I said he was ‘feral.’ Which of course was interpreted directly as racist and that, honestly, was not my intention whatsoever."
Watch the rest of his apology here.
Gerod Roth thought his sly selfie with a co-worker's son would live and die on his Facebook wall as nothing more than just a photo. But when he and friends began commenting under the photo with racially insensitive jokes about the child, Roth quickly found himself at the end of the unemployment line.
After Geris Hilson (Roth's Facebook name) posted the photo in question, it took no time for the slur of comments to come in attacking and degrading the toddler for simply being Black. Users such as Emily Irene Red commented, “I didn’t know you were a slave owner,” under the photo while others users like Ryan Michael Siegel posted, “Help feed this pour [sic] child today.”
Unfortunately, no one bothered to help Siegel spell poor correctly.
When Roth’s employer, Polaris Marketing Group, uncovered the fury that was brewing on social media, the marketing tycoons took action firing Roth immediately.
Here's a statement released by the company's president:
This morning I was disgusted to learn that one of my former employees made several racially charged comments on his personal Facebook page. Even worse, the comments were directed toward the son of another employee.
It breaks my heart that Sydney and her adorable son Cayden were subjected to such hateful, ignorant and despicable behavior. Cayden visits my office almost every afternoon after daycare, he's sat at my dinner table and I consider him a part of the PMG family.
The atrocious lies, slander and racism he and his mother have been forced to endure are wholly intolerable. Myself and the entire PMG family in no way condones this kind of behavior and would never willingly associate with anyone who does.
It has no place in the world.
PMG has terminated the employee responsible and will ensure that none of the businesses that we associate with will ever do business with him again.
Michael Da Graca Pinto
Polaris Marketing Group, Inc.
To her surprise, the mother of Cayden Jace, who is in the photo, took to Facebook to avenge her little one once she learned of the controversy. In a post on Facebook, complete with a photo collage of her and Cayden, she explains that he's a great kid. She has since sparked the trending hashtag #HisnameisCayden.
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(Photos: Geris Hilton via Facebook)