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Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Facebook fans rally behind scarred girl allegedly asked to leave KFC

The Associated Press

Published: Mon, June 16 1:30 p.m. MDT

 Three-year-old Victoria Wilcher was reportedly asked to leave a KFC because of her appearance.

Three-year-old Victoria Wilcher was reportedly asked to leave a KFC because of her appearance.

(WJTV screenshot)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — KFC Corp. says it's investigating allegations that a restaurant employee in Jackson, Mississippi, asked a 3-year-old to leave because her facial injuries disturbed other patrons. The company is also giving $30,000 toward Victoria Wilcher's medical bills, a spokesman said Sunday.

The allegation about KFC was made Thursday on "Victoria's Victories," a Facebook page following Victoria Wilcher's recovery from a pit bull attack in April. The administrator posted a photo showing Victoria smiling shyly in spite of her facial scars and cartoon-decorated eye patch, and wrote, "Does this look scary to you? Last week at KFC in Jackson MS this precious face was asked to leave because her face scared the other diners."

KFC posted an apology the next morning, requesting details.

"As soon as we were notified of this report on Friday, we immediately began an investigation, as this kind of hurtful and disrespectful action would not be tolerated by KFC," spokesman Rick Maynard wrote Sunday in an email to The Associated Press. "Regardless of the outcome of our investigation, we have apologized to Victoria's family and are committed to assisting them. The company is making a $30,000 donation to assist with her medical bills. The entire KFC family is behind Victoria."

Her grandmother Kelly Mullins said Victoria had just been to a doctor's when they stopped at the restaurant. She ordered mashed potatoes for Victoria because she thought the hungry child could swallow the soft food without chewing.

She says she was then approached by an employee. "They just told us, they said, 'We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers,'" she told WAPT-TV.

Victoria wept all the way home and now is embarrassed by her appearance — something that wasn't the case before, Mullins said.

"She won't even look in the mirror anymore," Mullins said. "When we go to a store, she doesn't even want to get out" of the car.

WJTV News Channel 12

Victoria was attacked by pit bulls at her grandfather's home. The dogs broke her nose, both jaws, cheekbones and right eye socket; the right side of her face is paralyzed and she lost that eye, according to her Facebook site. Her bottom jaw was reconstructed but she needs a feeding tube and must grow more bone in her face before more surgery is possible, it states.

The page's administrator wrote Sunday that "Victoria's Victories" had gone from 250 people praying for Victoria to thousands.

The page had more than 32,500 "likes" on Sunday.

A message posted Friday evening by another Mississippi KFC franchisee, Dick West of West Quality Food Service in Laurel, offered "a big KFC picnic" for the child and her family.

West also wrote that he knows the Jackson restaurant owners "and they have never in the 50 years they have operated in Jackson allowed anyone coming into their restaurants to be treated with dis-respect."

In a message to the AP, he wrote, "I am sure KFC will make their finding public as soon as the facts are in. In the meantime, I offered to treat Victoria to a picnic because regardless of the outcome of the investigation, she has been thru more than any little girl should and I wanted to give her a special treat."

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1. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
June 16, 2014

Seems clear KFC handled this perfectly and one KFC employee handled it horribly. Well done KFC and poor job KFC employee.

2. Bubble
SLC, UT,
June 16, 2014

This employee was just expressing his opinion. I hope we have learned from Firefox and other companies and he doesn't get fired for this.

3. KristieB
Dubai, 00,
June 17, 2014

The employee should absolutely and immediately be fired for their comments. Not only are there laws against this, but decency dictates that the employee must be disciplined and fired.

4. Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT,
June 17, 2014

@ Bubble

Expressing an opinion does not make one immune from consequences. This employee is ridiculous for hurting a little girl who had already suffered a very traumatic experience and that said employee should be shown the door (if it hasn't occurred already).

5. Itsjstmeagain
Merritt Island, Fl,
June 17, 2014

I applaud the investigation but that and a $30,000 donation is simply a means to stop a lawsuit.