"Moana," Not Marijuana: Dairy Queen Worker Loses Job Over Cake Mistake

By Paul Gaita 07/22/19

The worker, who has been blamed for the mix-up, alleges that her manager oversaw the entire cake-making process.

Dairy Queen

A Georgia woman was surprised to receive a birthday cake decorated with a marijuana leaf and an image of a My Little Pony character with bloodshot eyes, instead of the Moana-themed cake she ordered from an area Dairy Queen.

Her social media post of the incident went viral, and while the woman found the whole affair amusing and the cake delicious, the Dairy Queen employee that made it is not laughing.

No Laughing Matter

Cassandra Walker told USA Today that she lost her job as a result of the mix-up, and noted that her manager not only took the order but also observed its creation and gave the cake to the customer.

Kensli Davis, who lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, is a fan of the Disney animated film Moana, and for her 25th birthday told her mother that she wanted a Moana-themed birthday cake.

Her mother contacted the local Dairy Queen and placed the order, but as Davis told WMAZ-TV, "I think they thought that she said, 'marijuana,' because we are from south Georgia and kind of have an accent. So, Moana, marijuana?"

Upon receiving the cake, Davis said that she was initially shocked—"I guess when they said that I love cartoons, they were just like, 'Let's throw a Little Pony on there' [but] it had red eyes [and] it was smoking a joint"—but also found it amusing and noted both the artistic talents of the cake creator and its delicious taste. She posted an image of the cake on Facebook, which was shared almost 15,000 times.

But for Cassandra Walker, the Dairy Queen employee who made the cake, the entire incident has been less than amusing. Walker apologized to Davis after learning of the mix-up, and offered to make a new cake, which Davis declined.

She was subsequently fired by Al Autry, one of the owners of the Dairy Queen, on July 8, which also happened to be her birthday.

No Laughing Matter

"It's not funny to me," said Walker, who worked for Dairy Queen for approximately a year before the incident. "I have two little girls here. I have a car that needs fixing."

Walker also alleged that her manager oversaw the entire cake-making process, from taking the order to delivering it to the customer. "The manager stood behind me while I pulled the images off the internet," she told USA Today. "She walked by as I decorated the cake. As I boxed the cake up, she was the one who walked it up to the front."

In a statement to USA Today, Autry said that the incident "was a simple misunderstanding from the beginning," and added that his employees apologized for the error, but the customer paid for the cake and left the Dairy Queen with it. He did not address Walker's claim that she was fired.

Walker added that she was contacted by a different manager of the Dairy Queen with an offer to return to her job, which she declined.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.