Taipei, June 27 (CNA) Major disability rights groups said Thursday that they have forgiven McDonald's after the fast food chain apologized to a patron with Down's syndrome who was told to leave one of its restaurants in Kaohsiung last week.
The advocacy groups staged protests at McDonald's Taipei headquarters June 25-26 over the franchise's treatment of the patron, surnamed Wang.
According to media reports, Wang went to the McDonald's Yochang outlet in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan June 22 to buy an ice cream, but the manager thought she was causing trouble for other guests and called the police, claiming that a homeless person was shouting and disturbing other diners.
The disability rights groups demanded that McDonald's release surveillance video to shed light on what actually happened at the store when Wang was ejected and provide an apology from the franchise's CEO for the incident.
Susan Lu, operation vice president for McDonald's Taiwan, offered an apology on behalf of the franchise at a news conference held in Kaohsiung Wednesday in which she described Wang's treatment as "really inappropriate."
Lin Cheng-hsia, president of the Republic of China Down's Syndrome Foundation, said his association and other like-minded groups made the decision to stop their protests following Lu's apology to Wang and her family.
"We chose to let the matter drop to reduce the social disharmony, even though the truth remains unknown as McDonald's has not released the surveillance camera video," said Lin.
Wang Jung-chang, secretary-general of the League of Welfare Organizations for the Disabled, said it is regrettable that a patron with a disability was discriminated against at a well-known fast food chain store.
"The incident indicates that there are flaws in McDonald's standard operating procedures," according to Wang, who added that he hopes the franchise will improve its procedures and reinforce staff training to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
(By Lung Jui-yun and Sofia Wu)ENDITEM/J