A college professor in Charleston, South Carolina was fired from his job after a local brewery put his face on a can of beer without his knowledge.
Paul Roof, a professor of sociology at Charleston Southern University, a Christian school that is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, was featured on a can of beer - dubbed 'Chucktown Follicle Brown' - made by Holy City Brewing. Roof says his picture was taken at a local beard and mustache competition, and the popular brewing company used the picture without informing him first.
"It's a symbol, and symbols get used in all different locations and venues and areas, and it was on the beer can," said Roof to the Charleston City Paper. "I don't own the image, I have not been compensated for the image, and the brewery didn't come to me and say, 'Hey, Paul, can we use your picture?' They're friends of mine, and they said, 'We're doing a beer can,' and I'm like, 'Yeah, that's cool.' I'm not in control of somebody else's business. They don't have to ask my permission."
One day, Roof says he received a message from a school official about the beer can, and he was shocked to learn that they were not happy about it.
"I was given an email message early this week. I met with my dean Wednesday, and my answers were sufficient for him...but on Friday, I was called into the VP's office, and that's where I was terminated,” said Roof. “I was told that it was not representative of a Christian environment. And for me a Christian environment entails two things: looking out for other people and forgiveness of others who've transgressed you.”
Roof says that he has received a lot of support from friends and former students, although he cannot comment on any details due to his consultation with a lawyer.
“The response,” said Roof. “Social media, from students that I had 15 years ago, eight years ago, has been overwhelming.”