At times there are not many things of interest going on in the world, and at other times there's all sorts of stuff right in your own backyard!
This point was driven home to me as I read the local London Free Press this morning and ran across some strange stuff going on in our neck of the woods!
WINDSOR, Ont. - If the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society wanted to court Donald Trump levels of controversy with its latest cat adoption ad, they surely got it on Wednesday morning.
The organization received multiple complaints — and hundreds of social media shares — because of an advertisement that made explicit reference to Trump’s infamous “grab ’em by the pussy” comment.
“You don’t have to be a star to grab a pussy… cat,” the ad joked, informing the public that all shelter cats over six months old can be adopted for $50 from Oct. 19 to 23.
Reaction was swift. “Tasteless” and “vulgar” were common responses. Some members of the public decried the ad as perpetuating “rape culture.” Others found it humorous — no different than a joke one would hear from a late night talk show host.
Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky was not amused, stating she was “profoundly, deeply disappointed and disturbed” by the ad.
Gretzky showed the ad to her fellow MPPs Percy Hatfield and Taras Natyshak, and personally contacted the Humane Society to complain.
“We must ensure that demeaning behavior towards women is not perpetuated,” Gretzky wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Regardless of intent, it is never acceptable.”
A London auto shop yanked its “clown lives matter” sign, but the move wasn’t enough to stop the fallout. NAPA AutoPro on Wellington Road removed the message Wednesday — which had been up since Monday — and a company spokesperson called it a “bad joke” that tried to make light of the recent rash of creepy clown sightings making headlines across North America.
That wasn’t enough for one local activist, who’s calling for a public apology and demanding the employee behind the sign be disciplined.
“It’s disgusting,” said Mojdeh Cox, who contacted the company’s head office to voice her concerns. “Is this what you want your brand to reflect in the community that you operate?”
The south-end repair shop, one of four AutoPro locations in London, has a long history of humorous postings on its sign on a busy stretch of Wellington Road.
Before the message was removed, supervisor Jon Adler was asked whether he was worried about offending anyone by referencing the Black Lives Matter campaign. “People are way too sensitive,” he replied.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement in Canada and the United States is an attempt, supporters say, to shine a light on systemic racism that results in a disproportionate number of black people killed by police. Cox said defending the “clown lives matter” message as a joke adds salt to the wounds of members of the black community already hurting following a similar occurrence at Western University earlier this month, when four young men were photographed with a “Western lives matter” sign during the school’s unofficial Homecoming celebration.
The incident made national headlines, prompting university officials to probe whether the action violated the school’s code of conduct. A Western spokesperson said the investigation is still ongoing.
The London auto shop removed the sign shortly after a Free Press story on the incident appeared online Wednesday.
"London’s iconic costume store pulled all stereotypical indigenous costumes from its shelves Wednesday in response to complaints that they’re racist and damaging.:
“It was never our intention to offend anyone,” Dale McCulloch, manager of McCulloch’s Costume Co., said Wednesday. “We’ve been selling this stuff since 1962 and this is the first time we’ve heard of it being an issue.”
McCulloch said it was a “no-brainer” to pull about a dozen headdresses and items labelled “native” or “Indian.” “We have a big indigenous customer base here at the store that support us all year round, not just Halloween time, and if we’re offending them, we need to do something.”
The move came only 15 hours after Londoner Suze Morrison started a petition demanding it.
“That’s amazing. I’m surprised. I’m pleasantly surprised,” she said when told the Dundas Street store had removed the items.
“It shows a lot of good faith on behalf of the business to be open to learning and doing business differently,” she said.
“I’ve been looking at the battles other activists are facing, and it’s a battle they aren’t winning. I kind of figured it would be the same here.”