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June 29, 2017

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McDonald's criticized for treatment of Down syndrome patron

TAIPEI -- More than 100 protesters rallied outside McDonald's headquarters in Taipei Tuesday, demanding that the fast-food chain's CEO formally apologize to a patron with Down syndrome who was asked to leave one of its restaurants in Kaohsiung.

The protesters, mostly supporters of disability rights, chanted, "Oust McDonald's from Taiwan. CEO come forward and apologize."

They also demanded that the restaurant release surveillance video of what actually happened at the Kaohsiung branch on June 21 when the patron, surnamed Wang, was kicked out of the restaurant.

The branch's manager claimed that Wang was a homeless person who was disturbing other guests and needed to be asked to leave, but police called to the scene by the manager were told that Wang had not bothered anyone.

The incident has led to widespread condemnation, especially in online communities, with many netizens on Facebook calling for a boycott of McDonald's.

In response to the outrage, McDonald's director of communications Clare Chou extended a formal apology on Monday to Wang, her family and the public and said the company was taking the incident very seriously and carrying out a thorough investigation.

That did not satisfy the protesters, however, who demanded a more sincere apology from a higher-ranking McDonald's executive, namely the CEO.

Meanwhile, several children with Down syndrome at the protest spoke about the prejudicial treatment they had previously received at the fast food chain.

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