MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Memphis breakfast staple is facing major backlash on social media after Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn visited the shop on Tuesday before the election.
The owner of Gibson’s Donuts said he is shocked and saddened by all of the customer outrage, especially since it was spurred by something he does every day – serving donuts.
The motto at Gibson’s Donuts is simple: “We Serve All.”
Now, after serving Blackburn, that motto is under fire.
“All I was told is that they were coming in here to sit down and eat donuts, and then low and behold four television stations showed up and it became an official campaign stop,” said Owner Don DeWeese.
“And that we would not have put our name on it because we certainly didn’t endorse her.”
Within hours, DeWeese said they received dozens of phone calls – and more than 100,000 interactions on Facebook, many of them people threatening to boycott the shop.
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DeWeese said he deleted all of the store’s social media accounts because all of the negative attention.
“We didn't mean to offend anybody, we did nothing that we haven’t done before,” DeWeese said. “We had Gov. Haslam before and had not one single complaint.”
DeWeese told FOX13 he felt used by the Blackburn campaign.
Blackburn’s campaign did not respond to our request for comment.
One day later, it was a busy day at the shop with support from across the political spectrum.
“We know in our heart we have good donuts, and we will serve anybody walking in that door,”
DeWeese said. “Black, white, rich or poor – Democrat or Republican – they're welcome to get some donuts.”
DeWeese said he doesn't know when he'll reinstate their social media accounts.
In the meantime, customers told FOX13 they're changing their profiles on Facebook to the Gibson’s Donuts logo in support.
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