FRESNO, Calif. (WKBN) – The CEO of a company with a Sharon-based digital marketing business is under fire for racist remarks that a California bartender alleges he made during a trip to a bar in Fresno.
The bartender, who says she was the subject of the remarks, talked to WKBN over the phone Thursday.
Rebecca Hernandez was working at Out of the Barrel Taproom in Fresno when she said Jason Wood, the CEO of Actionable Insights, made the racist statements toward her.
She said Wood made the comments after she and coworkers cut him off from drinks at the bar, as he was becoming increasingly belligerent.
Hernandez caught the exchange on video and posted it online.
The video shows a man yelling and calling the woman a “sand n*****r” and other profanities. He identifies himself as Jason Wood with Actionable Insights and is even wearing his company shirt during the exchange, Hernandez said.
“Don’t worry about me, Saudia Arabia!” the man yelled, later saying, “Well, you’re (expletive) stupid like they are.”
In the video, the woman responds that she is recording the encounter and it will be online.
“In my 10 years of working in the service industry, I’ve never dealt with this level of…I’ve never dealt with racism,” Hernandez said.
A public relations company for Actionable Insights told us on behalf of Wood, “My words were unacceptable. They were a result of being physically impaired. They are not representative of my personal beliefs or that of my company.”
Wood responded to KION, a news channel in California, saying he has no memory of the incident due to how much he drank. He reportedly apologized and told KION, “I feel absolutely horrible. I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”
WKBN tried accessing Actionable Insights’ website, but it has been taken offline.
Wood’s social media profiles have been scrubbed.
Hernandez said she was “terrified” over the encounter, which is why she started recording it.
“I am racially ambiguous and a lot of people do get confused as to what I am. So with that being said, I think standing your ground, honestly, you have to weigh the consequences, essentially. That man could have easily jumped behind the bar and attacked me, you know, and that’s why I recorded things on my phone because I felt like if something were to happen right now, this is the only video they’re going to have of me,” she said.
You can listen to WKBN’s interview with Hernandez below:
Wood has been charged with DUI a few times in the past, jail records show. He was convicted of driving under the influence and texting while driving after crashing into an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper’s cruiser in 2017.
According to Highway Patrol, Wood told troopers that he was reading an email and didn’t see the cruiser. He had a blood-alcohol content of .231, Highway Patrol said.