Forget that ‘Duck’ guy, Steve Yamamoto is a Free Speech Hero (video)

You can exercise your First Amendment rights as a homophobic racist fool on A&E or as an anti-corporate viral video dude on the Internets. You be the judge.

A Chicago employee of the Safeway/Dominick’s supermarket chain (which is closing 72 stores eliminating 6000 jobs) was suspended after he posted this YouTube video — Thanks, Safeway — portraying the store closings as a vicious attack by space aliens.

Steve Yamamoto was suspended Saturday, when he showed up for his last day at work.

NBC Chicago reports:

…he showed up to work his last day Saturday at a Glen Ellyn store, he was informed by an apologetic manager that he was suspended.

“My store manager got a phone call that she had to suspend me,” he said. “I was like ‘Are you serious? It’s crazy as it is. I’m just dumbfounded.”

But Yamamoto said the video was an attempt to “make light of a bad situation.”
“It was all in good fun,” he said. “I was expecting laughs from the employees, that’s it.”

Yamamoto’s aunt, Tony Picket, who works at a Naperville Dominick’s, was outraged by the suspension.

“We didn’t think anything was wrong with this video. We thought it was fun,” she said.

Yamamoto said his time at Dominick’s has been fun, and considers his coworkers “like a family.”

It was not immediately clear if any other employees were suspended for the video.