Representatives from Milano Market, located on Broadway between West 112th and 113th streets, just steps from Columbia University, offer Whitaker an apology, but claimed the incident was not racially motivated.
"While we cannot delve into the employee's mindset, we do not believe that he was racially motivated in his actions, simply misguided," the company said.
"The management of Milano Market deeply regrets the wrongful actions of our employee in stopping and frisking Forest Whitaker," and confirmed the employee was fired.
Whitaker had refrained from reporting the incident to the police because he said he didn't want the employee to be fired.
Whitaker, who is in the city to star in Black Nativity, an adaptation of a Langston Hughes play, was approached and patted down during a busy lunchtown rush Friday after he went into the market to buy a yogurt, the New York Daily News reported.
The Columbia University-related site Bwog reported eyewitnesses said this wasn't the first time they'd witnessed racial profiling in the store.