Duke University President Vincent E. Price Apologizes for Young Dolph-Gate | News
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Duke University President Vincent E. Price Apologizes for Young Dolph-Gate

Posted by on Thu, May 10, 2018 at 6:04 PM

click to enlarge Larry Moneta, Duke's vice president of student affairs
  • Larry Moneta, Duke's vice president of student affairs
Duke University President Vincent E. Price released a statement Thursday afternoon addressing a number of recent issues on Duke’s campus that indicate “the absence of respect for others,” he wrote, including the firing of two employees of the Joe Van Gogh coffee shop on campus after Larry Moneta, Duke’s vice president for student affairs, complained to their employers that they were playing an inappropriate song.

"I am, in particular, sorry that the words of one of my senior administrators recently resulted in two individuals working for one of our on-campus vendors losing their jobs,” Price wrote. “[W]hile I am pleased that the vendor has taken steps to reverse this action, I apologize for the precipitous and unfair treatment these employees experienced. We must do better."

The statement comes after protests yesterday in which people gathered outside the coffee shop and marched into Moneta's office playing Young Dolph's "Get Paid," the song that had offended him. Today, there was a coordinated call-in campaign to the office, and the story has been picked up in many national outlets since the INDY broke it two days ago.

This is the latest statement coming from the university and the only one that directly apologizes for Moneta's actions. Yesterday, the university said that Joe Van Gogh was responsible for the firings and referred to Robbie Roberts of Joe Van Gogh's statement accepting responsibility for his company's actions. But Joe Van Gogh, in a recorded human resources meeting on Monday morning, had said the university was behind the decision.

In a statement to the student newspaper The Chronicle, Moneta said he regretted that his actions led to the firing of two employees.

"I felt and still feel that the choice of music for the venue was inappropriate," Moneta wrote in an email to the paper. "[B]ut if my actions in any way lead to their dismissal, I apologize and hope that the JVG management consider ways to reinstate their employment with the company.”

Roberts has offered both Britni Brown and Kevin Simmons their jobs back, they said. Brown will not be accepting the job, she said at yesterday's protest. Simmons has not said yet whether he will.

For his part, the artist at the center of the controversy caught wind of the story yesterday and started tweeting about it. Young Dolph has offered to fly Brown and Simmons to Miami this weekend for a concert, they said. The rapper is currently on tour and will be playing at Hard Rock Stadium at Rolling Loud festival.

Read Price's full statement here.

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