An Albuquerque restaurant has come under fire for a play on words regarding the Black Lives Matter movement.
It happened at Paisano’s Italian restaurant in the Heights when the owner put “BLACK OLIVES MATTER – TRY OUR TAPENADE” on his marquee sign out front.
“We use our reader board to promote our specials,” Rick Camuglia said. “We thought it was a cute, play on words to promote our special Ahi tuna tonight.”
He then took a picture of the sign and posted it to Facebook. As you might expect, not everyone thought it was funny.
Commenters wrote “How insensitive,” “Very poor taste,” and “What the hell is wrong with you people?”
Camuglia said he got a lot of upset phone calls, too.
“We didn’t think anybody would be offended by that, it was not our intent to offend anybody,” he said.
We showed the picture to Amanda Molina, the Vice President at The Garrity PR Group who’s well-versed in social media.
“If you decide to post on a high-profile issue, you’ve got to make sure it’s not going to be perceived as insensitive or comical when really it’s not an issue that’s funny,” Molina said.
She said businesses have a “social responsibility” because of their large audiences and place in the community.
“There’s other ways to communicate what your food’s about,” she said. “And it doesn’t go away when it’s on the internet.”
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