In this episode of the Daily Detroit podcast, we’re talking about the raging inferno of controversy that has engulfed Founders Brewing Company in Detroit.
We quickly run down the latest developments following a racial discrimination lawsuit – and then we’re going to play a new game on the podcast we’re calling “Waaaaaaaiitttt a minute.”
Inspired by Lovett or Leave It’s “OK Stop,” where a news clip plays with commentary and comedy, we annotate an interview one of the founders of Founders gave to WJR, one of Detroit’s AM radio stations.
That’s all in the audio player right here.
Why is the conversation cringeworthy? Well, there are a few reasons and you’ll have to listen to the show. Here’s one, a quote from Founders co-founder David Engbers, that stands out:
Paul W. Smith: “600 employees, 22 years for Founders. How many other racial discrimination suits have you had against Founders in your 22 years.”
Smith: “Interesting. Zero.”
Engbers: “I always thought we were the poster child for diversity and inclusion.
The entire essence of our company was built on accepting everyone from who they are, and I always say, you know, beer is the conduit that brings people from different backgrounds together. It crosses all these different barriers. Beer is a celebration of life, it’s a social beverage it brings people together. That’s what really got us into this industry, and this is why this is so devastating.”WJR Radio, The Paul W. Smith show
When someone starts from that place of thinking — that they’re the poster child — all of this controversy isn’t that surprising, and nor is the recent resignation of the diversity and inclusion director, hired after the discrimination lawsuit was filed.
Of course, if you’d like to listen to the original Paul W. Smith piece in its entirety without our commentary, you can do so over here.
It’s an interesting episode recapping a very hot week in around the Grand Rapids-based brewer.