Pizza Hut in Saudi Arabia is under fire after it posted an advertisement on Twitter to mark International Stuttering Awareness Day but ended up insulting people with the communication disorder.
The tweet in Arabic was posted with a picture that showed pizza deals and other offers the food chain was offering on the weekend. Although there was nothing wrong in the picture itself, it was the caption that was problematic.
In the caption, letters were repeated in such a way that referenced to those who stutter. It read, “order w w wow offer, a a available on s s Saturday and Sunday in all our branches except J J Jeddah.”
Social media users slammed the company for their insensitive ad and called it “inappropriate and offensive.” Some demanded a boycott of the food chain.
Twitter user Noura Al-Ghahtani said, “Pizza Hut is contributing to the International Stutter Awareness Day by this ad which is offensive and embarrasses stutter.” Another person tweeted: “I stutter and this is so insensitive.”
“I call on Pizza Hut to apologize by providing treatment to people who stutter. This would be a long-lasting apology,” said Tarik Al-Habib a popular psychiatric.
Basma Al-Zahrani said she was extremely offended by the ad and will boycott the food chain in support of her son who stutters.
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Commerce and Investment also announced that it will take legal action against Pizza Hut.
However, after intense backlash, Pizza Hut issued an apology on Twitter and agreed the tweet was “inappropriate.”
“Pizza Hut apologizes over the irresponsible tweet which offended a group of people who we deeply care about. Action has been taken against the person who made this error," the apology read.
@pizzahut your trending in Saudi Arabia because of offensive ads about stuttering , there is a campaign to boycott you— ?? (@whimsicals25) October 23, 2017
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Mario Anzuoni