‘Sort it Gandalf!’: Sir Ian McKellen pushed for action after his pub was scared of ‘firing’ the bartender
‘Sort it out Gandalf!’: Sir Ian McKellen is urged to step in after the East End pub he owns ‘threatened to fire the bartender’ who was too scared to return because his diabetes put him at risk of covid gives
- East End pub The Grapes told staff to return for reopening on July 4
- But diabetes patient and bartender Daniel Richmond said it wouldn’t be safe
- His manager hit the roof before telling staff that some of them could be fired
- There is no suggestion that Sir Ian was aware of the queue when it took place last week
A pub owned by Sir Ian McKellen is lined up after he reportedly threatened to fire staff who were too scared to work because of Covid-19.
Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian co-owns The Grapes boozer along with businessman Evgeny Lebedev and director Sean Mathias.
The 500-year-old East End pub apparently told the laid-off staff to return to work on Saturday, July 4, when bars in Britain reopened after closing.
But Daniel Richardson said he wouldn’t be safe in the “little” pub on such a busy day, because his diabetes makes him vulnerable to the deadly virus.
The mid-row Grapes pub is owned by Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen
The message the staff said was sent by managers in the pub when they reopened
Cafe employee Daniel Richardson cried after receiving the message from his boss after saying he felt he couldn’t work during his corona virus because of his diabetes
After expressing concerns to managers, he received a text message that made him cry.
The post, which caused a huge backlash after being posted to Twitter, reportedly said, “I’ve noticed that some of you don’t want to return or are unavailable for a month!
“I’m actually really disappointed in your attitude.
“I’ll make changes and let some of you go.
“The company’s needs are paramount.”
Danny said, “I think it’s really awful to fire people knowingly.
“It is ethically annoying that a collection of millionaires would think that if they have pre-existing minimum wage conditions, someone would have to risk their health.”
Sir Ian McKellen is best known for his role as Gandalf in the Lord Of The Rings films
There is no evidence that Sir Ian, Mr Lebedev or Mr Mathias were aware of the threat of firing Danny or that he had diabetes.
The text message went viral after it was shared on social media, with a man tweeting, “The f *** is this Gandalf? Sort it out.”
Cassie Smyth added, “If it was a small family business, it’s just a hobby for three incredibly wealthy people.”
Danny says he received a phone call last Friday and was told the threat didn’t apply to him because of his diabetes.
Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian co-owns The Grapes boozer along with businessman Evgeny Lebedev and director Sean Mathias
But he suspects he would have been fired without the massive outrage online about his treatment.
NHS research published in May linked two thirds of coronavirus deaths in the UK to diabetes.
Danny, from Poplar, East London, added, “To be blunt, I had a really hard time. I was honestly in a position where I couldn’t do too much.
The pub’s actions drew the ire of Twitter users, including one who joked ‘must condemn Gandalf’
“I was like, I lost my job because of a serious health condition – how am I going to pay rent?
“Actually, I was in tears, because what the hell am I supposed to do with finance amid everything else?”
But he also criticized the government for putting pressure on pubs to reopen while the coronavirus is still present in communities.
When Danny received the minimum wage, he added, “I think that’s ethically very questionable.
“When I initially took a job, I was definitely disappointed with the wages, it was much less than I had earned in previous, much quieter places, family businesses.”
The Grapes was approached for comment, but did not answer our calls.