A sign at a Brooklyn Center Arby’s restaurant briefly displayed an offensive message Saturday morning for which the company later issued an apology before turning the matter over to local police.
The removable letters on the display sign had been arranged to say “NOW HIRING [groups described with racial and sexist slurs],” according to a photo shared on Twitter.
Tawanna Black said she first saw the photo on Minneapolis North basketball coach Larry McKenzie’s Facebook page. “He took it this morning on the way to the barber shop,” she said. The sign fronts Brooklyn Boulevard along a busy commercial stretch.
Black copied the photo and tweeted it to Arby’s, demanding a response.
About an hour later, the Arby’s Twitter account @ArbysCares responded that the sign had been changed by an unknown person, that the message had been removed, and that police had been notified.
“We apologize to everyone exposed to that message,” the @ArbysCares account added.
Black, who leads a nonprofit that addresses economic and racial inequity, said she was satisfied with Arby’s response, but was surprised by how many people thought the photo was a fake.
“Throughout the day as I watched Larry’s post, people kept writing, ‘Fake news, fake news. This can’t be real,’ ” she said. “That’s why I tweeted it.”