A Rhode Island restaurant came under fire after an employee posted a meme to the company Facebook page comparing the summertime heat wave to the ovens in Nazi concentration camps.
The meme featured a portrait of Holocaust victim Anne Frank with the disgusting caption, ‘It’s hotter than an oven out there… And I should know!’
The Atlantic Sports Bar & Restaurant in Tiverton was immediately met with backlash from angry patrons slamming it as racist, anti-Semitic and ‘absolutely disgusting.’
The eatery, after having deleted the post, issued an apology saying there was ‘no excuse for the sharing of this post’ and ‘nothing we can do to rectify it.’
Restaurant officials also claim the establishment ‘prides itself on being a tolerant, inclusive and safe space for all people’ and that the incident serves as a ‘teachable moment for our team.’
The Atlantic Sports Bar & Restaurant in Tiverton was immediately met with backlash from angry patrons slamming it as racist, anti-Semitic and ‘absolutely disgusting’
The offensive post was published Friday shortly after 5pm by an employee allegedly unaware that the young girl in the photo was Frank, a Jewish teenager who died during the Holocaust.
Frank kept a journal, which her father later published as The Diary of Anne Frank, while her family was hiding in an attic before being sent to a concentration camp, where Frank and most of her loved ones died.
The book is one of the most recognized stories in history.
An Atlantic worker told ABC 6 the employee deleted the post after realizing the meme featured the famed diarist.
However, WBSM talk show host Jessica Machado, claims restaurant staff were initially unfazed by the post and that the owner even ‘thought it was funny.’
‘I picked up the phone and I called, and said I wanted to speak with someone about a Facebook post,’ Machado recalled from her Friday phone call to Atlantic.
‘The girl who answered said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, what post?” I explained it and she said she didn’t get it, and I said, “OK, did you post it?” and she said no. So I asked if I could talk to the person that she did and she hung up on me.’
The insensitive post was published Friday shortly after 5pm by an employee allegedly unaware that the young girl in the photo was Anne Frank. The employee reportedly deleted the post after realizing the meme featured the famed diarist
A local radio show host who spoke to the owner spoke and alleged he thought the meme was funny and told her ‘they were very, very busy and it was very hot there, and that they didn’t have time to deal with my concerns or questions’
The radio show host called the restaurant again and spoke with the owner who she was allegedly ‘equally as annoyed’ by her call.
‘He doubled down on it and said he had just Googled it, he thought it was funny, and that they were very, very busy and it was very hot there, and that they didn’t have time to deal with my concerns or questions ,’ she said. ‘He told me not to call them back and then, click, they hung up.’
Atlantic issued an apology to their Facebook page on Monday, before deleting the public account altogether.
‘The team here at The Atlantic wants to issue it’s [sic] sincerest apologies for a deeply insensitive post shared by our account on 7/22. The post was poorly thought out and we realized that it was incredibly inappropriate and did not reflect our values as members of our community,’ the apology stated, according to The Newport Daily News.
‘There is no excuse for sharing this post, and there is nothing we can do to rectify it, all we can do now is offer our deepest apology to those who were rightfully hurt by our actions.
The Atlantic Sports Bar & Restaurant issued an apology saying there was ‘no excuse for the sharing of this post’ and ‘nothing we can do to rectify it’
‘The Atlantic Restaurant prides itself on being a tolerant, inclusive and safe space for all people. We love and respect all of our incredible customers and members of our larger community, irrespective of their religion, race, creed, sexuality or gender identity. Moving forward we will be vigilant in vetting all social media posts to ensure that nothing like the events of this past week ever happen again.’
The restaurant then thanked patrons for their ‘outpouring of support, as well as the outpouring of rightful criticism,’ noting how this incident would be a ‘teachable moment’ for staff.
‘Thank you again for allowing us to serve our community, doing what we love – we hope that with time we can regain the trust of those who we’ve hurt and move forward, as a better, stronger and more sensitive organization,’ the statement concluded.
DailyMail.com was unable to reach the restaurant for comment at the time of publication.
Both the initial post and apology were met with heavy criticism online. Some users called for boycotts of the eatery, while others argued the post was an ignorant error in judgment.
‘Purely disgusting,’ one Facebook user wrote. ‘No apology can correct the choice you made to post this meme.’
‘They need to face the consequences of their outrageous anti Semitism!’ echoed another.
The post was met with backlash online, which included several tweets calling the anti-Semitic restaurant and others questioning the explanation for why the post went up
‘Boycott Atlantic Sports Bar and Restaurant, Tiverton RI,’ one man wrote. What they posted on Facebook was absolutely [sic] disgusting. Hope they go out of the business and the owner is handcuffed and thrown in jail.’
Another pointed out that the employee’s claim of not knowing who Frank was ‘one amazing coincidence’ because the ‘meme makes no sense if you’re unaware.’
One woman criticized the bar owner for finding the ‘disgraceful post’ to be amusing, saying: ‘I hope he’s just as amused when he never receives a single dime of my money.’
‘There is literally no excuse for this. There is no excuse for not knowing that it was Anne Frank. I’m disgusted,’ added another woman.
‘Very poor taste. Everyone should be offended if there ever is a time to be, this would be it,’ someone else wrote.