Staff leave Happy Maki following ‘transphobic’ remarks

At least seven workers have quit

At least seven employees have quit working at the well-known vegan restaurant, Happy Maki, as a result of “transphobic” comments made by the owner.

Anna MacDonald, owner, issued out an email to her staff at the beginning of October after she was asked to provide financial help for surgery for a transgender individual. In the email, she stated how she believes “that gender dysphoria is due to spirits and spirit over-cloaking.”

She went on to say “I have been shocked and a bit scared about what I have read and how easy it is for them to control and manipulate people’s thoughts and feelings”

Following her email, an online campaign was launched via Facebook titled “Unhappy Maki”. A statement was also released by ex-employees, stating “It wouldn’t feel effective to have Happy Maki or the owner be ‘cancelled’. It would be for the best if she can learn and understand why it was a transphobic, damaging thing to say.”

A collective statement released on the Unhappy Maki Facebook page

According to a letter seen by The Argus, one staff member was sacked after having confronted Anna MacDonald for “gross misconduct” and were accused of taking part in a “violent emotional attack” against her. The staff member plans to take legal action against McDonald.

In light of these developments, at least seven members of staff have chosen to cease working at the establishment. McDonald maintains that this was “based on the fact that I hold an opinion on the transgender experience, not because the work environment was toxic or abusive.”

Credit: Instagram @thehappymaki

Speaking to The Argus, MacDonald said: “My beliefs are my own and until they affect the way we treat people in store or the service we are providing then they are irrelevant.”

A statement was also released on the Happy Maki website in defense of the email, claiming it was not “hateful or invalidating”. She also mentioned how the transgender experience “poses some big questions” and “psychologists, geneticists and spiritualists are all trying to figure out what is going on.”