PR Nightmare | New Eatery Faces Backlash After Insensitive Press Release
A Crown Heights business owner has garnered some unwanted attention with her press release introducing her businesses "aesthetics" and drink list. On Monday, Becca Brennan released a press release that highlighted not just the summer infused drinks but significant comparisons to Crown Heights past and the community of Brooklyn's struggle with poverty.
In the release the company is said to have 40oz containers of Rosé champagne for purchase. These drinks were to be served in 40oz malt liquor containers with brown paper bags around them and to top it off the owner boasted about keeping the "bullet hole-ridden walls.” Just hours after the release dozens of protesters were outside of the summer hot spot expressing their disdain for the owners use of language and highlighting that further conversation with gentrifiers arriving in Brooklyn must occur swiftly.
The owners response to the backlash was quick. She immediately released a statement saying that she in no way meant to cause pain to her customers or those within the surrounding community via her Instagram:
The statement, however, seems to have come too late for local residents. Residents took to social media to express their feelings on @summerhillbk IG page. Since Monday, all comments have been shut down, however, some users have responded to affiliates with the organization including Brennan’s chef. Where users stated that as a black man he should take a job somewhere else.
From a black perspective, this issue is clear, a white woman moved into a predominately black neighborhood which is currently struggling with a shift in its demographic population due to gentrification. Residents, in good right, felt offended by the non Brooklyn born business owners use of Black culture for marketing and profit.
From a PR and marketing perspective, it is clear that she didn't do her research. As a non resident and member of a race that has gone far different experiences than those from Crown Heights she should have took her time to know where she was and what surrounded her. To often, the"colonizer" mentatlity of whites is projected with g Her apology will undoubtedly not be enough because the damage is done.