Only on 5: Another fired GPAC employee talks - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Only on 5: Another fired GPAC employee talks

We've learned a lot about knots this week. 

William Martin showed Action News 5 two that were used to tie up excess rope on the Germantown Performing Arts Center stage.  One of them is a hangman's noose.

"I've used hangman nooses in every theater I've worked in," says Martin.

We met Martin outside GPAC where he's no longer able to work.

"I honestly think it's ridiculous," says Martin.

He says he knew an African American employee complained about the hangman's nooses.  He later learned Technical Director Matt Strampe was let go for tying them.  But Martin tells us he did not know for sure that he was one of the two part-timers also fired until Thursday morning.

"I was concerned that I was one of them," says Martin.

Martin was employed by GPAC on an as-needed basis.  Therefore, he was simply not going to be called again.

"This is extremely offensive to the African American community," City Administrator Patrick Lawton told us Tuesday.  "I can't think of anything worse and so we took appropriate action," he added.

Martin says he tried to show Lawton how different knots are used.

"He said he didn't care, didn't know the difference, it was already done," recalls Martin.

Martin wonders if he might be better off without his part-time job.

"If we're going to get harassed about doing our job the way we feel it needs to be done," says Martin.

Martin denies joking about the nooses and reports that an employee put one around their neck.  Lawton says they should have known better to even tie the knots.  As Action News 5 was first to report, the Germantown Board of Alderman unanimously supported the firings.


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