A restaurant in Watkinsville, Georgia recently added a completely tasteless item to their menu: a “black and bleu” burger inspired by Chris Brown‘s violence against Rihanna. While this is a mistake that most people would never make, this particular restaurant was not only dumb enough to do it in the first place, but to continue to prove that they were unable to learn from their mistake.
The item was a daily special at Chops and Hops that was part of a celebrity-themed specials series.
There was a certain amount of public outrage and media attention, and the Facebook posting garnered 55 shares and 78 “likes” as of the time of this writing. I just want to know: who “likes” domestic violence? While the comment thread certainly includes several people voicing their disgust over the burger special, there are also many who think it’s funny and criticize people for not having a sense of humor.
We all make mistakes. The question is, can we learn from them? Has Chops and Hops gotten anything out of this episode? The original Facebook post was on March 23rd. One day later, they posted an assurance that they don’t think domestic violence is funny, they have helped their local domestic violence victim service provider with fundraising, and they were donating the proceeds from the burger. Yet, they still didn’t remove the original post announcing the burger.
Fast forward to March 30th. The special of the day? A “politically correct” celebrity sandwich with a photo of an empty plate. The accompanying text goes on to suggest that if you can’t joke about domestic violence, you also can’t joke about manliness, vegetarianism, Muslims, Jews, diabetes, cops, gluten, animal abuse, lactose intolerance, and eggs. Right, because all of those things are totally exactly the same as domestic violence AND funny to boot. How about AIDS? Anyone want to tell an HIV joke?
The restaurant, not knowing when to stop, goes on to defend itself saying, “Those who know and support us know who we are, what we do, and that it wasn’t our intent to hurt or offend. We don’t dislike celebrities, it’s just satire.”
Newsflash, Chops and Hops. I’m not worried about your attitude toward celebrities, it’s your beliefs about domestic violence and women that concern me. And whether your intent was to hurt or offend is irrelevant. You did hurt. You did offend. You didn’t just hurt Rihanna, who clearly has her own difficulties handling her abuse, you hurt and offended all domestic violence victims everywhere.
Adding even more insult to injury, Chops and Hops goes on to suggest that if you really care about domestic violence you should donate your time or money to victim service agencies. Yeah, they need money and volunteers. But wouldn’t it also be nice if we could change enough attitudes that DV shelters weren’t so urgently needed? How about stopping domestic violence and pro-violence attitudes as the real way to help?
I wonder if they watched any of the video of Susan Still being abused if they could still laugh about it.
The Black and Bleu burger posting is still on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Maybe some idiot told them there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but, more likely, they just don’t understand what they did wrong.
I’m not laughing. Are you?