Legal News

“Black People Food” Lawsuit Filed against Dude Ranch Owner
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

dude ranch

Summary: An African-American chef is suing the owner of a dude ranch in Elko County for racial discrimination after being asked to serve the guests “black people food.”

The owner of a rural Nevada dude ranch has been sued by her African-American chef for asking for “black people food” to be served at the ranch. Madeleine Pickens recruited the chef, Armand Appling, from a country club she also owns in Southern California. The ranch, Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort, serves also as a wild horse sanctuary.


Pickens is being sued for racial discrimination. Appling claims the wealthy philanthropist and ex-wife of Oklahoma energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens requested fried chicken, corn bread, and BBQ ribs to be served to the tourists who were paying around $2,000 a night. The tourists sleep in plush cottages, take Wild West “safaris” on ATVs and ride horses across nearly 900 square miles near the Utah border.

Appling argues that he was fired in 2014 after complaining about a hostile work environment. He claims in his lawsuit that Pickens, who happens to be white, asked him to terminate two other black kitchen staffers because they didn’t fit the image of a “country club.” He says she referred to one of the staffers as her “bull” and “ox,” while the other staff member as having “too much personality.”

Pickens’ lawyers argue that there is a lack of racial motivation behind her comments. If anything, they “reflect a non-racial personality conflict and amount to discourtesy, rudeness or lack of sensitivity.” U.S. District Judge Miranda Du agreed that the lawsuit lacked racial hostility required for a civil rights claim. She dismissed the original lawsuit but allowed them to refile an amended complaint seeking unspecified damages from her nonprofit Save America’s Mustangs.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

Pickens lawyer, Dora Lane noted that many restaurants categorize foods by ethnicity. She argued, “The suggestion that such categorizations are inherently offensive is nonsense. This is especially true here, given that Pickens’ alleged comments actually reflect a preference for ‘black people food’ rather than a racial animas against ‘black people’ or ‘black people food.”

Do you think it is racist to refer to fried chicken as “black people food?” Tell us if you think Pickens was discriminating racially in the comments below.

To learn more about racial discrimination cases, read these articles:




Remote Business Immigration Paralegal


Dinnen Law is looking for an experienced business immigration paralegal to work remotely on a full-t...

Apply now

Immigration Attorney


Borton Petrini, LLP, seeks hardworking and personable immigration attorney with a minimum of five ye...

Apply now

Litigation Attorney


Borton Petrini, LLP, a dynamic statewide A-V rated law firm, has an immediate opening in their Baker...

Apply now

Legal Assistant with J.D. or Writing Degree


Salary $18 - $25 an hour Job Type Full-time Number of hires for this role 2 Qualif...

Apply now




Search Now

BCG Attorney Search In-House Counsel

USA-CA-Los Angeles

BCG Attorney Search In-House Counsel We are a Legal Employment Company located in California with o...

Apply Now

FDA Regulatory Attorney


Boston office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks FDA regulatory attorney with 3-4 ye...

Apply Now

Foreclosure/Bankruptcy Associate Attorney


Temecula office of our client seeks associate attorney with preferably 2 years of experience working...

Apply Now


To Top