Bonefish Harry’s, a restaurant in Beverly, Massachusetts, recently posted a photo of a letter they had allegedly received from a customer outraged by the rainbow flag being displayed in honor of Pride Month. But Bonefish Harry’s attempt to push back against supposed intolerance doesn’t appear to be working out the way they hoped:
A restaurant in Beverly, MA posted photo of a letter allegedly from someone who didn't like their rainbow flag. The post went viral & business has been booming. Turns out no one exists in area w/name on letter & owner isn't answering anymore inquiries. https://t.co/A0T4Aq9kz4 pic.twitter.com/0INOOasppm
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 14, 2019
More from The Salem News:
“We consider this letter an attempt to bully us to remove our flag and to slander our business,” the post said. “We will not stand for this type of behavior and will never give in to these types of unaccepting bigoted people. We will always stand side by side with everyone in our community! We will continue to fly this flag and we are proud to show our support for all of our community members.”
Then, after some commenters questioned the authenticity of the letter on Thursday, the restaurant created a second post Thursday afternoon.
“Facebook world, we appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone near and far,” the author of the post wrote. “We want to make sure the focus of this is on accepting everyone in our community without bias and prejudgment. We are aware that there are people questioning the validity of the letter, the author and whether our restaurant had written this letter. We have no idea who Owen is or if he really exists. We 100% did not write this letter or know who did. What we do know is that we support everyone in our community and welcome everyone in our restaurants. Now let’s get back to tacos and mai tais!”
The Salem News attempted to locate a person by the name of Owen Donaldson living in Beverly or on the North Shore. But a search of public records, including the city clerk’s resident lists for Beverly and several area communities, property records, available phone listings, social media, and a general search of the internet shows no one by that name living in the area.
Guess it’s convenient that they’re a seafood restaurant, because something definitely smells fishy.
Jussie has a restaurant?
— Some Guy (@SomeGuy489) June 14, 2019
Signed, a real person and not a cynical marketing ploy
— Kool dood in a loos mood (@norbert_cross) June 14, 2019
Would the real Owen Donaldson from Beverly MA-please stand up!!!
— Ed Singleterry (@EdSingleterry) June 14, 2019
— José galdino (@Nabo_2) June 14, 2019
A variation on the old "hateful note on a receipt" hoax. The media falls for it every time. https://t.co/IeC9REuLY1
— Some guy tweeted something 🤷🏻♂️ (@jtLOL) June 14, 2019