October 12, 2016 - 11:25 AM
TORONTO - A Toronto restaurant is promising a charity drive to help women as an apology after invoking Donald Trump's rant boasting of alleged sexual assaults to promote its menu offerings.
Mexican eatery La Carnita posted a picture of food on Tuesday under the caption: "What if Donald said, 'grab her by the taco,'" which is occasionally used as slang for female genitalia.
The caption was a direct reference to recently released video shot in 2005 during which Trump is overheard telling a television personality that his fame gave him licence to do what he liked with women, including grabbing them by their genitals.
The gaffe is the latest in a string of recent controversies for the taco chain, all of which have centred on treatment of women.
The restaurant, which could not be reached for comment, deleted the controversial post hours after sharing it and issued an apology on Twitter.
The chief executive of La Carnita's parent company also issued a Facebook statement promising to run a limited-time campaign to raise money for a charity that empowers women.
The post by Andrew Richmond of Monarch and Misfits said a percentage of food sales over the next eight weeks will be donated to an unnamed charity that works to stop violence and poverty as well as helping women.
He also promised sensitivity training for the management team at the city's four La Carnita locations.
"This isn't who we are, or how we want to represent ourselves," Richmond wrote in his post. "Our comments and actions have never been ill-intentioned, but have crossed the line on more than one occasion. We recognize that there are systemic and cultural things that need to be fixed to ensure that this doesn't continue happening."
But social media was abuzz with those who questioned the restaurant's contrition and claimed this was the latest in a string of misogynistic occurrences at La Carnita.
The restaurant has been taken to task in the past for referring to female staff as "tac-hoes" on social media, a description it defended at the time as "just a funny hashtag."
It also drew ire earlier this year for posting a bathroom sign depicting a man peeping furtively over a door at a woman inside. The restaurant previously said it replaced the sign eight months ago.
"Tonight, we made a mistake. A big one," La Carnita tweeted in response to the latest controversy. "We used a caption that was dumb, rude, and insensitive. Once we realized our error, we quickly removed it. For anyone who saw it, know that we understand your anger and fully realize why it was inappropriate. We truly apologize. We can do better, and we will."
For many online, however, the apology fell short.
"To be clear, what La Carnita posted is not a mess up. It's rape culture plain and simple," wrote one Twitter user.
"The lack of sensitivity by @la_carnita both before and after their social media BS ensures I'll never eat there again," wrote another.
Some, however, praised La Carnita for taking more concrete action and said they would reserve judgment until they could see whether the restaurant followed through on its promises.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016