The Bodega Bro Controversy, Explained

When moving to a new city, showing a little humility and respect will get you far — "Bodega Bro" learned that the hard way when his recent remarks about the New York City grocery scene got him into hot water. 

Bodega Bro, a young man in his 20s, recently moved to New York to begin his job at a software company called Outreach, per the New York Post. When he wanted to go food shopping, he decided to capture his disappointment on video for all of TikTok to see. "So I type in, like, 'grocery stores,' on my Apple Maps, and like, every f***ing one I go to...they're like this s***," he said in the video, panning to two different bodegas in the Bronx. "Bro, that's not a grocery store...Like, look at this place," he continued, expressing disappointment that he couldn't find a Whole Foods or Kroger nearby.

Bodega Bro's remarks caught the attention of TikToker Dutch De Carvahlo. The NYC-born and based content creator responded to Bodega Bro's "mockery" of a video, not necessarily to respond directly to the Bro, he said, but to address the way some New York transplants discuss the city in general.

Bodega Bro's words had consequences

Carvalho is known to shed light on inequities taking place in New York City, speaking on behalf of its native residents, to his 1.4 million followers. In his response to Bodega Bro, he said, "The supermarket he's so desperately looking for doesn't exist because he's moved to a city which has historically, and still today, systematically deprived certain neighborhoods — neighborhoods that are predominantly Black or brown and/or working class — of basic resources." People in the Bronx "rely on" the bodegas that the Bro "found a way to make fun of," Carvalho continued.

Carvalho wasn't the only one who took issue with Bodega Bro. Celebrity news personality Perez Hilton tweeted that he viewed his remarks as "racist," asking followers if they felt the same way. "His company did," responded one user, referencing Outreach's decision to fire Bodega Bro "upon investigation" of the incident. "We took swift internal alignment with our core values," the company posted, though a representative told Reason that the new employee was let go for leaking "confidential information."

We are not entirely sure how the masses are divided on the issue, but according to opinions shared by the New York Post, it was the "Woke Mob" that drew the wrong kind of attention to the TikTok video. While Bodega Bro's firing may have appeased those upset by his words about New York's famous corner stores, it stirred up ire in those who felt that his remarks were observational rather than offensive. One Twitter user summed up these sympathetic sentiments with a post directed at Outreach: "This is completely outrageous. He didn't do or say anything inappropriate. And if your 'core values' say employees should shut up, then your values are ridiculous."