After many complaints, a Whole Foods store in New York City took down a sign featuring an artist’s depiction of President Obama selling whole organic chicken.
The drawing appeared on a chalk board placed on the sidewalk outside the store located at Columbus and 97th Streets on the city’s Upper West Side.
Some customers and neighbors complained that using the President’s image to sell chicken was an offensive racial stereotype.
On Thursday, WNBC in New York interviewed a man that lives in the neighborhood of the store. “There are certain things that have been used to put down black people,” Woody Henderson told reporters.
Others interviewed by the TV station said they weren’t offended by the sign at all, but most agreed that the image was clearly that of Mr. Obama.
The drawing did not depict Obama actually eating chicken or holding any in his hand, but it did depict an open-mouthed Obama with a comic strip-style word-bubble telling customers the price per pound of the product.
Whole Foods released a statement saying that its art department often uses pop culture images in advertising and the use of the President’s face was not meant negatively.
The spokesman for Whole Foods said the sign was removed “once it was brought to our attention by a shopper that it may be perceived as offensive.”
“There was no disrespect meant at all,” the spokesman said.