An Ohio University senior who worked a part-time job at a local Sherwin-Williams store was fired after the company discovered his popular paint-mixing TikTok channel @tonesterpaints, which currently has over 1.2 million followers.
Tony Piloseno said that for months he’d been pointing to his viral account as an example of what Sherwin-Williams could do on social media and by marketing its brand to a younger audience.
But instead it led corporate personnel to investigate his social media account, and they ultimately fired him after determining he was making “these videos during [his] working hours” and with company equipment.
According to termination papers Piloseno provided to BuzzFeed News, the official offense the company handed down to him was “gross misconduct,” which included the offenses of “wasting properties [and] facilities,” and “seriously embarrass[ing] the Company or its products.”
“They first accused me of stealing — I told them I purchased all my paint,” he said. “They made me answer a bunch of questions like when I was doing this, where, if there was anyone in the store while I was doing [filming]. There was never anyone with me while I doing it.”
In the video posted on Twitter, Poor asked students if anyone was from outside the U.S., and a student responded that he was from Wuhan, China. After hearing where the student was from, Poor made this comment.
“Let me get my mask on.”
Following the backlash on Twitter, Poor wrote in a later email that the comment, which was in reference to Wuhan being the origin of COVID-19, was a joke. While Poor may have meant this comment to be humorous, some MU students do not see it in that way. Many students have replied to the tweet saying that they found the comment to be racist and xenophobic.
Hernandez wrote on social media that she started video recording the incident because she felt uncomfortable and unsafe and “tasked with filming our own abuse to prove that it actually happened.” She posted the video with her comments on social media.
In a telephone interview Wednesday with The Bee, Wood admitted that he was drunk at the bar and expressed remorse for his behavior.
The video shows Wood apparently mocking Hernandez’s voice.
After Hernandez is heard making a phone call to request someone to come to the restaurant, Wood says: “I’m leaving. Don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about me, Saudi Arabia.”
When Hernandez asks what Wood said and if she was called Saudi Arabian, Wood replies: “You’re (expletive) stupid like they are.”