Moby Under Fire for Leaving His Closed Restaurant Workers “High and Dry”
There may be no good way to shut a business during the coronavirus pandemic. But when Moby, the long-time vegan musician, closed his plant-based restaurant Little Pine in Silver Lake a month ago, the employees were sent packing without so much as a "thanks for the memories." Now they're flaming him on social media, and what started as a "nice idea" to open an upscale organic vegan eatery and give the proceeds to animal rights organizations, has bitten the musician in the ass.
The Grammy-nominated musician opened Little Pine in 2015 and the plant-based eatery was touted as a "charitable initiative" for the singer-songwriter, according to a story in Eater. Moby vowed to donate 100 percent of his profits to animal rights organizations. But employees now say that they were the ones left empty-handed.
When Little Pine closed on March 15 in the middle of the current coronavirus pandemic, it was part of a nationwide trend of shutterings that swept the country. But in the weeks since, several employees have posted to Twitter calling Moby a poser and exposing the fact that he was stingy regarding health benefits, sick pay and vacation pay. This tweet alone would have him singing the blues.
The restaurant is now on “indefinite hiatus” with no plans to re-open. “I am coverage-less in the middle of a global pandemic,” said one former employee, “because my health care has been canceled by a multimillionaire.” Little Pine’s Instagram account turned off comments after some former employees commented, including one that said: Moby has “zero empathy for our plight."
In answer to the criticism, a long post on Little Pine’s Instagram, which according to Little Pine's former employees, Moby personally runs, reads:
ately we have been receiving a lot of very hostile comments about the way in which Little Pine was put on hiatus. Allow us to clarify: little pine, like most restaurants during this crisis, is in serious financial trouble. We have tried to do the right thing, and paid our managers and paid our employees and paid our vendors and paid our insurance, etc. and we are, again like most restaurants, seriously in debt. All we ever wanted was to be a good vegan restaurant and serve our community and generate money for the animal rights nonprofits we love. And now not only have we been forced to shut down, but we are on the verge of bankruptcy, while being viciously attacked by countless strangers. Honestly, after desperately trying to do the right thing and going seriously into debt, the vicious hostility makes us want to just shut the restaurant down. I guess somehow naïvely we thought that in this time of crisis people would stop being hateful and judgemental, but unfortunately we were wrong.
One comment in response said, before it was taken down: “I’ve worked at Little Pine since it opened and helped to build the restaurant to what it was. Moby absolutely left us all high and dry.”