Think You Can Joke About Domestic Violence? Think Again.

By: Olivia Adams

Everyone can appreciate a good joke, but not when it’s about domestic violence.

Minibar, in Austin, Texas, found itself in the midst of a public relations problem after one of its employees posted on an outdoor sign: “I like my beer like I like my violence: domestic.”

People who saw this sign definitely took offense, especially one Austin local, Seetha Kulandaisamy. After viewing the sign, Kulandaisamy posted a picture of it on Instagram and Facebook, which ended up grabbing the attention of people across the nation.

ABC News asked Kulandaisamy how she felt about the incident.

“My first response was just anger,” Kulandaisamy said. “I currently am a volunteer at the women’s shelter in Austin, so my sensitivity is extra high, but I think my reaction would have been the same regardless. Not only was it offensive, but it was also just bad humor.”

In this case, bad humor earned Minibar a bad reputation. Because of this employee’s bad joke, it caught the attention of national headlines and social media. Especially because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this event definitely hurt the reputation of this Austin bar.

So the question is, if you were the manager of Minibar, how would you respond to this event? Considering this stunt was one to not be taken lightly, serious measures had to be taken immediately to ensure customers understand that Minibar doesn’t promote domestic violence in any way.

To resolve this problem, Minibar fired the employee who created the sign. The manager of the bar Alex Elmiger also provided the following statement:

“Minibar doesn’t condone that sign. I give my utmost apology and assure it won’t happen again. As soon as it was brought to my attention, I wanted to do something to rectify the situation.”

For the rest of October, Minibar is donating $1 of every domestic beer sold to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Thankfully, this bar was able to show its compassion for this issue and take the right measures to resolve the problem.

Do you think Minibar took the right action to address this problem? What would you have done differently?

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We speak the truth with compassion. We embrace diversity in all forms. We are innovative, creative, upbeat and engaged. We are the Ferris State University PRSSA Chapter! Our student-run PR firm gives students outstanding hands-on experience and professional training.
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