Under her account @wintermarie5, she posted videos where she was visually distraught. Wright prefaced the TikTok with a typed caption stating how hard using a wheelchair can be, “especially when you have to deal with uneducated people.”
She opens the video with tears in her eyes, expressing her apprehension to come to social media, but she felt she needed to share what happened.
“I’m at 2007 Brownsboro Road, and I am trying to get gas. My son is in the car with me, and, like, I cannot physically f**king walk. If you know me, then you know I’m in a wheelchair; I use assistance and have hand controls. The lady just told me, ‘I don’t know how to pump gas,'” Wright said in the video.
Wright stated she told the employee it was “self-explanatory” and said she would “show her what to do” once she assisted her.
However, Wright claimed the employee still did not care to help her.
“She gon’ holler, ‘If you driving then you can walk, right?'” Wright said in the video. “And I am trying to explain to her that I cannot walk. I’m paralyzed. She gone holler, ‘How you driving?”
She continued, “Once again, I’m using assistance and how does that even f**king matter? It’s a whole wheelchair sign on this gas pump, and that means if I need assistance you supposed to help me.”
In an attempt to report the situation, Wright claimed she asked the employee for her name, to which she replied, “I ain’t got no name. Why don’t you walk in the store and find out.”
She ended the video by zooming into the gas station window to show the employee with whom she had the heated exchange. The video has received over 14,000 comments and nearly 3 million views.
Several users urged the creator to file a lawsuit based on disability discrimination.
The outlet shared the phrasing of the Americans with Disabilities Act that mandates self-service gas stations make accommodations for disabled customers who cannot pump their gas.
The regulation reads in part:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires self-serve gas stations to provide equal access to their customers with disabilities. If necessary to provide access, gas stations must:
- Provide refueling assistance upon the request of an individual with a disability. A service station or convenience store is not required to provide such service at any time that it is operating on a remote control basis with a single employee but is encouraged to do so, if feasible.
- Let patrons know (e.g., through appropriate signs) that customers with disabilities can obtain refueling assistance by either honking or otherwise signaling an employee.
- Provide refueling assistance without any charge beyond the self-serve price.
Atlanta Black Star reported that Wright made two since-deleted follow-up videos about the situation on her Instagram. She communicated that she did contact lawyers about the issue but couldn’t afford the retainer fee. She also stated the corporate office for Thorntons claimed they could only release surveillance footage with a lawyer’s request.
She told viewers she learned the employee’s name was Vicky but could not confirm it. She added someone called a police officer to the scene of the altercation but told Wright he couldn’t file a police report because “no crime took place, and it was a civil matter.”
Wright has started a GoFundMe campaign to assist with physical therapy.