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iPhone-Evo spoof gets employee suspended

Best Buy suspends 25-year-old Brian Maupin, whose snarky videos have since gone viral.

A 25-year-old Best Buy employee who posted a snarky cartoon spoof of iPhone zealots online has been suspended and may soon be out of a job.

Brian Maupin, who worked at a Best Buy branch in Independence, Mo., since 2007, was suspended from his job Thursday, according to the Associated Press, and now expects to be fired by Monday for posting the two YouTube videos that slam fans of the iPhone 4 and HTC Evo 4G. Those videos don't mention Best Buy, which sells both phones.

The AP quoted an e-mail from Best Buy spokesman Justin Barber, who said Friday that the consumer electronics chain was still deciding how to proceed with Maupin, whom he called an "aspiring filmmaker."

Although Maupin's bosses failed to see the humor in the videos, a lot of other people have, apparently. At last look, more than 1.7 million people have viewed the iPhone video on YouTube. It features a 3.28-minute conversation between an increasingly exasperated electronics store salesman trying to talk a shopper into considering a smartphone other than the Apple smartphone. The video targeting Evo buyers (following the jump) had racked up more than 357,000 views.

"They felt it disparaged a brand they carried (iPhone/Apple) as well as the store itself and were fearful of stockholders and customers being turned off to Best Buy Mobile," Maupin said in an interview with TechCrunch.

Maupin told TechCrunch he was asked to quit but refused the request. At that point, Maupin says he was told of his suspension in advance of a review of the matter by the company's human resources department. "I issued a statement to them explaining that the video was intended to be comedic and hence, not taken seriously by them or all these stockholders and customers they are worried about [being] turned off to buying from them due to the video,' Maupin said.

(Reader advisory: the language in the videos gets a bit spicy in parts.)

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