BELOIT, Wis. - The owner of Mike’s Roadhouse in Beloit apologized on Facebook Monday after receiving numerous complaints about some of his posts.
“Well, I guess this all started with bad decision-making on my part and a poor sense of humor,” bar owner Michael Fink said.
Hundreds of people have commented on his posts, which, some say, make light of domestic violence and rape.
“I’ve posted the same memes over and over again for years, and I rotate them every year and have used them in my advertising. I realize now that it was a bad choice,” Fink said. “I truly thought of them as sarcasm and satire, as those that know me know that I’m not anything like that at all.”
People from around the world have seen the posts and commented on the Facebook page for Mike's Roadhouse.
“I found this post through a group that I’m on on Facebook, which exposes sort of misogynistic posts on the internet,” said Becky Thomson, from Scotland. “I just wondered how someone could find something like that funny because this is something that women live in fear of on a daily basis and this is something that happens to thousands of women on a daily basis, as well.”
On Monday, Fink posted an apology on Facebook after he said his bar received nasty phone calls almost every 10 minutes.
“Suddenly, I was inundated with bad comments, false allegations and name-calling and threats to myself and my employees and the business, all because of my poor sense of humor,” Fink said. “Please understand I do truly sympathize with victims of any type of violence, and I never meant to downplay their pain. I have definitely learned my lesson.”
Loyal customers said the posts are not an accurate depiction of the downtown Beloit bar.
“I like coming here because it’s peaceful,” said customer David Elliott. “You can get away from a lot of life’s problems.”
He said it’s easy to get sucked into drama on the internet.
“You can’t tell what people mean by reading what they say,” Elliott said. “It’s hard to convey that emotion, and I think that’s part of the problem today, too.”
Fink said he would no longer post memes on his bar's Facebook page.
“As I’ve said, I’ve learned my lesson,” he said. “I’m going to stick strictly to business, and I apologize to those I’ve harmed in any way.”
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