The Atlantic Sports Bar & Restaurant in Rhode Island shared a meme to their Facebook page depicting Anne Frank, with the caption: “It’s hotter than an oven out there… And I should know!”
Angry social media users slammed the ‘meme’ as racist, anti-semitic and “absolutely disgusting.”
“No apology can correct the choice you made to post this meme,” one person said.
“They need to face the consequences of their outrageous antisemitism!” added another.
A third said there was no excuse for not knowing who Anne Frank was.
“There is literally no excuse for this. There is no excuse for not knowing that was Anne Frank. I'm disgusted.”
Another said: “Very poor taste. Everyone should be offended if there ever is a time to be, this would be it.”
Following the outrage, the restaurant issued an apology for the “deeply insensitive post.”
“The team here at The Atlantic wants to issue it's sincerest apologies for a deeply insensitive post shared by our account on 7/22.”
“The post was poorly thought out and we realize that it was incredibly inappropriate and does not reflect our values as members of our community.”
“'There is no excuse for the sharing of 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 post continued.
“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 thanked its customers for their support, branding the incident as a “teachable moment.”
“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.” They have since deleted their entire Facebook profile.
Radio talk show host Jessica Machado, claimed that after contacting the restaurant, she found the staff to be “unfazed” by the post, and thought it was funny.
“I picked up the phone and I called, and said I wanted to speak with someone about a Facebook post,” she said.
“The girl that 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 did and she hung up on me.”
The radio presenter said she called the restaurant back and spoke with the owner who she alleged was annoyed by her called.
“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.”
“He told me not to call them back and then, click, they hung up.”