Pizza shop sparks furious backlash over 'funny' billboard
The owner of East of Chicago Pizza in Barberton, Ohio has accidentally provoked disquiet this week with an 'offensive' slogan on a billboard ad.
Earlier this week, Jeremy Clemetson, proprietor of East of Chicago Pizza in Barberton, Ohio, posted an image of a sign advertising his pizzeria place, which featured the caption: "Fat people are harder to kidnap."
Although Clemetson has reportedly used the caption - as well as other irreverent slogans - before with no prior issues, he neglected to realize than January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and the post was badly received by some social media users.
Take a look at this news report on the controversy:
In a later follow-up post, the owner shared a Fox News 8 segment on the sign, and wrote on Facebook: "We just set out to be funny but this billboard went national. It must [have] been a slow news day. Let me know your thoughts. I appreciate your business and never set out for this to be offensive to anyone."
In a later interview with Fox News on the subject of his controversial slogan, Clemetson stated: "I thought it would be a good idea to put up some funny signs. Most people seem to like them. I scour the internet for different signs that people have had. Sometimes I use them. Sometimes I reinvent my own. I also have got some of my funny signs from customers."
He added: "I never even thought about it in that way, and as soon as I thought it, because kidnapping is not a joke, we are taking it down... I have seven kids of my own. I'm from the community here. I've lived here pretty much all of my life. I live in Barberton. I have strong roots here. I never even thought about it as the kidnapping aspect. I just meant it to be funny."