Actor-turned-entrepreneur Marvin Agustin cleared a dimsum supplier that drew flak this week for allegedly banning the members of the LGBTQ+ community to become part of its workforce.
On Wednesday, Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Franco Habijan called the attention of Agustin and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno after she came across a text message going around social media that claims Dimsum Factory does not allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to apply for a job.
Agustin and Moreno are the dimsum brand’s endorsers, as seen on its Facebook page.
“Dear @marvinagustin and @iskomorenodomagoso, it has come to our attention that the dimsum brand you endorse seems to be LGBTQIA-phobic. In this SMS, it is blatantly stated that ‘LGBT are not allowed to apply,'” Habijan wrote on Twitter with the accompanying message.
“More so, it discriminates people with tattoos and people in their mid-30s too. Dimsum Factory, if this is how you do your hiring, you have no right to do your business. Workplaces that discriminate people do not deserve to operate,” she added.
Habijan said that such messages are the reason why they stand for the anti-discrimination bill or the SOGIE Equality Bill.
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In a follow-up post, the beauty queen shared the message of Agustin saying he has spoken with the owner of the dimsum company.
“Hi Miss Mela! Thank you for tagging me. I just spoke with the owner of Dimsum Factory and he told me that they would never send a poorly worded and obviously wrong message like this,” Agustin said.
“And they tell me this isn’t even an address (they) have,” the actor added.
What’s in the controversial SMS?
The sender of the alleged text message claimed to be someone from “Dimsum Factory Noodle” who sent details of a job interview.
The message added that the interviewee may also bring other applicants, provided they fit a certain age range and that they have no “visible tattoo when wearing T-shirt.”
“LGBT are not allowed to apply,” it continued in a parenthesis.
The dimsum supplier later denied the text message and said that the circulating post is not from their company.
Dimsum Factory said that they “value creating and promoting inclusive growth for every person.”
“Discrimination and cultivating divisiveness is not within our company’s core values. We have already begun a thorough investigation on the matter. We are always grateful for your continuous patronage and support. Thank you!” it added.
The statement was also shared by Agustin in his personal account.
Last year, the House of Representatives held hearings for 16 proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bills that sought to penalize acts of discrimination towards people’s sexual orientation.
This includes being discriminated in workplaces and other institutions.