Minnesota city criticizes Joe's Crab Shack for 'racist' photo

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 11, 2016 5:58 PM

(Reuters) - A Minnesota city condemned a local Joe's Crab Shack restaurant on Friday for displaying a "racist" photograph from the 1800s that showed a black man being hanged.

Two African-American diners this week saw the image from a hanging in Texas dating from around 1895. It was embedded in a table with a bubble placed near the person about to be hanged that read, "All I said was 'I don't like gumbo!'," TwinCities.com reported.

One of the diners complained to local media about the photo.

"The City of Roseville was shocked and saddened to learn of the racist imagery being openly displayed at the Roseville location of national restaurant chain Joe’s Crab Shack," the city said in a statement on its website.

"This type of display is wholly unacceptable and unwelcome in the City of Roseville," it said.

Bob Merritt, chief executive of Ignite Restaurant Group , the restaurant chain's parent company, said the company understands the photo was offensive and not in line with its values.

"We take this matter very seriously, and the photo in question was immediately removed. We are ensuring this photo does not appear in any of our other restaurants. We sincerely apologize," he said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Tom Brown)