A New Mexico restaurant is facing backlash from social media users after selling "Black Olives Matter" shirts and hats.
Rick Camuglia, the owner of Paisano's in Albuquerque, made national headlines when he put the phrase "Black Olives Matter" on a sign outside of his restaurant, KOAT News reported. The sign was intended to advertise their new tuna dish with black olive tapenade.
Pictures of the sign were shared throughout Facebook and received mixed reactions. While some found the sign humorous, others thought it trivialized the Black Lives Matter movement:
I think the sign was done in poor taste and the wrong timing ... and really would you have put that up if all these racial tensions haven't been playing in news ... you haven't ANY idea the pain and disrespect this represents for people of color.
Wow ... what a crude and tacky idea! I imagine if it were something concerning the deaths of Italians, it wouldn't be deemed funny. In any event ... congrats on gaining customers/increasing sales/ based on the deaths of others. Nothing new. Or original.
The funny thing is, it's a play on words. People get upset at the smallest things. This was a joke, it wasn't meant to hurt anyone. People need to grow up and not worry about something as a slogan. Black olives matter is a great way to promote business. I'm sure I will be called racist for this, even though that is the farthest thing from the truth.
Camuglia told the news station he was not trying to create controversy and only wanted to sell his food and get people’s attention. He said he’s received tons of support from people all over the world.
"It's gone so viral. We've gotten calls from Australia, Spain, France, you name it," Camuglia told KOAT News.
Camuglia said he printed the shirts and hats because people were requesting souvenirs from the restaurant. Camuglia added that business has been soaring since the sign went viral.
"People have filled the restaurant and told us to leave up the sign," Camuglia said. "That's great, you know, because a lot of people make a living off working for this restaurant."