A Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) store in New York City removed a sign that some say presents a racist caricature of President Obama.
The sign — a chalkboard on the sidewalk outside the Manhattan store — depicted the president eating chicken, reports The Daily Mail. It also has the president stating the special price for organic chicken.
Some customers complained to the store because of they felt the sign played to the racist stereotype of blacks eating chicken. “Even if he’s not the president, you’re going to have an African American promoting the sale of chicken? They can do better than that,” Jason Nunez told NBC.
A spokesman for Whole Foods said the intent of the sign was not racist. He said that artists often used images of the president and other celebrities to promote sales and that no disrespect was intended. Once the store knew that customers were perceiving it as racist, the sign was removed.
Whole Foods has stirred controversy about Obama before. Just last month, CEO John Mackey referred to the president’s health care plan as ‘fascism’ in an interview with NPR. Mackey later partially withdrew his remarks.