The CEO of Geelong brewery Southern Bay Brew Co. has stepped down after facing major backlash since Monday when he posted a homophobic meme on the company’s Facebook page.
SBS The Feed reported that the controversial meme read, “Non-alcoholic beer – you mean gay lemonade?”. The Victoria beer company took it down within an hour as angry netizens bombarded its Facebook post. The offensive meme also coincided with World Pride Month 2019.
Southern Bay Brew Co. CEO Nick Warming released an official apology on Facebook to address the issue online. Despite the apology, users didn’t back down and Warming eventually stepped down as CEO.
“Apologies to all for an earlier post. This was posted without any thought whatsoever and no offence was intended. We realise this is not good enough and we should not have posted the homophobic beer meme. It will not happen again. It was a gross error and mistake and we would appreciate it if people were kind enough to forgive us. The post in no way reflected the thoughts of staff of the Southern Bay Brewing Co. and they should not be held accountable for my actions,” the apology post online read.
“All I can stress is that it was a genuine mistake. I feel absolutely horrible about it and I don’t want to vilify any particular part of the community. I don’t want to use excuses and I want to own it and apologise. My only intention was to promote the brewery which I clearly haven’t done well,” he added according to Brews News.
The brewing company suspended any social media activity as he discusses next steps with the board.
Aussies posted their distaste on Warming’s apology post on Facebook.
Southern Bay Brew Co. meme on binge drinking
In December 2018, Southern Bay Brew Co. posted another controversial meme online. As a result, the Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) ruled in favour in January 2019 of an official complaint over a tweet sent in the previous year, according to SBS The Feed.
The advertising body found the meme promoted binge drinking.
Speaking to Brew News, Warming said that the tweet was made by a third party social media company.