No, Chops & Hops, domestic violence is still not funny.

Belvedere, you’ve got some competition for Most Tasteless Marketing of a Consumer Product (Facebook Edition). Atlanta-area restaurant Chops & Hops named a celebrity burger after Rihanna–but it had nothing to do with her talent.

@chrisbrown, @rihanna and us teamed up for a award-winning celebrity sandwich. Put your hands on this caribbean black and bleu sandwich. … Brown won’t beat you up for eating this unless your name starts with a R and ends with A.

Initial response to their Facebook post was largely negative, and Chops & Hops was quick to issue an apology.

Chops & Hops The owners of C&H would like to make sure everyone knows that we and our staff DO NOT SUPPORT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Many of us have been affected by domestic violence in some manner and realize that this is no joke.

We have been involved in fundraising for Project Safe Team 6 and we fully intend on donating the proceeds (times 6 – in honor of Team 6) from the sales of the burger. C&H continues to strive for a community driven, family oriented, great food and great service environment. We will continue to be involved in our community fundraising and charities near and dear to our hearts.

“The owners of Chops & Hops,” however, might have wanted to run that statement by chef/co-owner Richard Miley before letting him talk to the press. He gave a slightly different response in an interview with ABC News.

“I was not trying to make a joke of domestic violence, just bringing light to the situation through food,” chef Richard Miley told ABCNews.com today. “I do not regret it. I don’t regret anything.”

“I’m not going to take it off Facebook, because I’m not afraid of what I did,” Miley said. “I’m just trying to have fun with food. Some people like it and some people don’t.”

I have no idea what “bringing light to the situation through food” means. It sounds like it could mean “raising awareness of domestic violence,” but I… question that interpretation. It rather appears that he was making light of the situation, which is the same thing as making a joke of domestic violence, Miley.

As with any such controversy (see above in re: Belv), the negative press brought out the assholes in droves to point out that we’re all just hypersensitive pansies with no sense of humor, and we need to get over it, and Chops & Hops has apologized, and now they’re going to eat TWO burgers just because, SO SUCK IT.

GOOD GRIEF! You people need to pull the sticks out of your asses! The silly thing is you are making a big deal about a domestic violence situation that obviously wasn’t that big of a deal because RHIANNA is trying to get back with Chris Brown and fighting other women over him. Find something worth your time to gripe about…….. LAWD!

Also anyone who says domestic violence isn’t funny is correct but after sooo long can you just let go and see the humor in it? She went back to him. Looks to me like a bunch a pussies eat at this place. They don’t need you. Go to mickey d’s.

OMG! Funniest name ever. Lighten the fuck up people, two months after being “beaten” [not beaten. Just “beaten”] Rihanna came out with a song claiming she loves being beat up so obviously she isnt fretting too much about it. Why the fuck are you? [all emphasis mine]

It’s not something I thought I’d ever have to lay out so explicitly, but here goes: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NEVER FUNNY. No, it isn’t. No, it isn’t.

There is no statute of limitations on domestic violence. Even after several years have passed, domestic violence is not funny.

Even if a survivor has forgiven his or her abuser, domestic violence is not funny.

Even if you personally are a survivor of domestic violence, domestic violence is not funny to everyone else.

Even if the abuser is rich and famous and hot, domestic violence is not funny.

Domestic violence hurts real people. Making light of it sends the message to real people that their experiences don’t matter, that what happened to them wasn’t serious, that they have no allies who take their experiences seriously, and that they themselves are the ones at fault for holding on to it and continuing to feel pain. And it sends the message to abusers (past and potential) that domestic violence isn’t a big deal and has no lasting consequences. And those are messages that are not funny.

(h/t Georgia Mae)

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21 Responses to No, Chops & Hops, domestic violence is still not funny.

  1. Emolee says:

    This is appalling.

  2. Colleen says:

    Also domestic violence =/= consensual BDSM.

  3. Jordan S says:

    Domestic violence hurts real people. Making light of it sends the message to real people that their experiences don’t matter, that what happened to them wasn’t serious, that they have no allies who take their experiences seriously, and that they themselves are the ones at fault for holding on to it and continuing to feel pain.

    Sounds like gaslighting.

  4. Mztress says:

    “The owners of C&H would like to make sure everyone knows that we and our staff DO NOT SUPPORT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.”

    So what was the purpose of that incredibly offensive marketing ploy, to show how unsupportive you are of domestic violence?

  5. Dominique says:

    They got the attention they wanted. It looks like this is the new way to market goods and service: be incredibly offensive, get people to link to you and talk about you, then pseudo-apologize (or not). It may backfire in some cases, but if the reported comments above are a reflection of a trend, there may be enough people out there willing to jump on “politically incorrect” bandwagons because they think they’re Bill Maher. Assholes.

  6. Your “are you serious?” tag is very apropos.

    Also, it would be interesting to see if food-based activism is effective. If they had done the burger intentionally to bring awareness of domestic violence, sans jokey-name, advertising that profits would go to service organizations for survivors and/or educational organizations…I wonder if that would be effective? I know I’d love to eat a burger for social justice.

    But c’mon, did these people go to Kyriarchy University in Privilege, USA?

  7. PrettyAmiable says:

    Chris Brown is hot?

    Sorry, but I can’t think of a single abuser who doesn’t look dead in the eyes to me. Baffles me when people say Charlie Sheen is hot. His eyes are dead.

  8. Caperton says:

    Chris Brown is hideous to the core of his withered crust of a soul. But apparently some women find him so hot that they’d welcome a beating from him, and that’s… so not cool.

  9. Mxe354 says:

    I’m just shocked, really. I mean, they actually went that far? Making fun of domestic abuse? Are you fucking kidding me? This is just profoundly repulsive; it’s beyond offensive.

  10. foreveralone says:

    @PrettyAmiable were there eyes dead before or after you found out they were abusers? Can you tell abusers by the deadness of their eyes?

  11. Jamie Stacey says:

    I’m all for gallows humor, but this is not gallows humor. Gallows humor clearly acknowledges the seriousness of the issue. The Chops & Hops ad is just offensive. Perhaps there is a fine line that separates the two, but this is a clear case.

  12. Angie unduplicated says:

    Even the slang terms “hit on”, for propositioning, and “hit” for sex, are disgusting. Apparently, no PR scheme is too sleazy for the boys when they want to rehabilitate an abuser’s street cred.
    Atlanta: still 404, all the way.

  13. Tim says:

    @chrisbrown, @rihanna and us teamed up for a award-winning celebrity sandwich. Put your hands on this caribbean black and bleu sandwich. … Brown won’t beat you up for eating this unless your name starts with a R and ends with A.

    I don’t really get “teh Twittrz” all that well, but are we to understand from this that they actually somewhere have the approval/consent of Chris Brown and Rihanna for this filthy obscenity?

  14. Tim says:

    oops, “somehow,” not “somewhere”

  15. QLH says:

    Tim, no, the restaurant’s just seeking attention. Rihanna and Chris Brown themselves have no genuine association with this fiasco.

  16. Geoarch says:

    I must hang my head in shame and admit that this happened in my home town. We’re about an hour away from Atlanta, by the way, in a university town that should presumably know better.

    That being said, this is an area where I begged for help from the police for years while married to my ex, who is a champion abuser, master gaslighter and manipulator, only to be told that they couldn’t help me because it was a “he said, she said” situation. Oh, and because he liked to claim I was only calling the cops because I was drunk. Judges around here routinely give custody of children to abusers, too. Enlightened? Not so much. So, there’s your context for this hideous, vile, repulsive ad campaign.

  17. Alexandra says:

    @foreveralone, if we could tell all abusers simply by looking into their eyes, our lives would be so much easier. I wish it were so. I still remember the sweet and warm expression that took over my abusive ex’s eyes on occasions.

  18. Anjasa says:

    Some people just want to be offensive for the attention, and I think that’s horribly sad. It’s so frustrating knowing what they’re doing – and knowing people are buying into it.

    Even if they’re just being offensive for attention, don’t they understand that they could be causing real harm to different groups and people?

  19. Bitter Scribe says:

    …and now they’re going to eat TWO burgers just because, SO SUCK IT.

    To those people: Enjoy them, and may your cholesterol soar into the stratosphere.

  20. checksix says:

    @angie I’m with you for the most part, but where are you getting that etymology for “hit on?” The best I could find was “hyttan” meaning “to meet/come upon.”

  21. Avida Quesada says:

    I agree with your words, and I understand that you are talking abut using domestic violences as a publicity stun (that did worked) but as an atheist I can’t forget about this incident:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JA4EPRbWhQ

    Not realizing that it was the name of a company, the word “chops” on the tile make me remember of the video.

    The other angle is the racist one. It’s really Chris Brown the first celebrity, or the last one to physically abuse their partner? Why the fixation with him? (not in this forum)

    We can say all that we want that is not the same, because male privilege. Or we can say is no big deal because of the frequency of women vs male victims. Or we can suggest that a guy with no voice in a ghettos has less power than the women on the talk.

    We could be right, but people hears : Bla bla bla burger , bla bla blas ‘what about the menz’.

    We are not been effective, and black women around me do notice the focus on just one case.

    Love,
    Avida

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