Millinocket business responds to backlash over controversial sign


An insurance policy company posted a signal to its door in advance of Juneteenth studying, “Juneteenth, it is really whatsoever… we’re closed. Get pleasure from your fried chicken and collard greens.”

MILLINOCKET, Maine — A article on social media has now been shared a lot more than 10,000 instances and counting, calling out a small business in Millinocket for a indication it posted ahead of the Juneteenth getaway. 

The article demonstrates pictures of Harry E. Reed Insurance policy Inc. on Penobscot Avenue in Millinocket with a indicator on the door that reads, “Juneteenth, it’s regardless of what… we are shut. Appreciate your fried hen and collard greens.”

This post sparked outrage throughout the group and beyond, even getting national focus. 

Progressive and Allstate, two of the nation’s biggest insurance policy carriers, told Information Heart Maine on Wednesday that they are terminating their interactions with Harry E. Reed Insurance coverage Co.

“We’re informed and appalled by the signal not too long ago posted at the Harry E Reed Agency and are terminating our romance with the company. At Progressive, Variety, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are elementary to our Core Values,” Progressive spokesperson Jeff Sibel wrote in an e mail. “We’re fully commited to generating an ecosystem the place our people today experience welcomed, valued and revered and anticipate that any one symbolizing Progressive to get aspect in this determination. The sign is in direct violation of that motivation and does not align with our company’s Main Values and Code of Carry out.”

“We are terminating our agreement with this independent agent,” Allstate reported in an email to Information Heart Maine. “Our motivation to Inclusive Variety and Equity is non-negotiable and we just take action when people violate our code of conduct.”

Similar: Other insurance policies agencies see backlash right after Millinocket agency’s indication

Melanie Higgins, an insurance policies agent at the company, is the 1 who posted the indicator. 

“I would never purposely set out to damage anybody and I would under no circumstances purposely established out to harm my mom’s business enterprise at all. She experienced nothing to do with this,” Higgins mentioned.

Higgins’ mom, Karen, has owned the organization since she purchased it additional than 30 a long time back. Now, just the two of them get the job done there and run the small business alongside one another.

Higgins claimed she posts symptoms on the doorway ahead of each holiday they prepare on getting closed for. Because the begin of the pandemic, she said she tried using to make people symptoms much more lighthearted and comical to deliver some levity to a complicated time. She said she generally described meals in those symptoms, as nicely. 

Demonstrating a selection of illustrations of previous signals, she pulled a single from Memorial Working day, studying in section, “…thank you to all assistance associates for your sacrifice for this state. A state now that is likely to hell in a hand basket quicker than my puppy thieving a piece of pizza off the counter…. now that I point out pizza, I am craving it… try to remember, the more you weigh, the tougher you are to kidnap.”

“I actually apologize, I am mortified that this is even going on,” Higgins claimed.

Higgins explained she experienced a tough week, and when she wrote the indication previous Friday she was in a hurry to go house for the weekend. 

As the photos of the sign proceed to circulate social media, she claimed they have had to get the phone off the hook. 

“We are obtaining loss of life threats. We are obtaining mobile phone calls calling us genuinely inappropriate words,” Higgins reported.

Higgins explained she hopes she can make this suitable and that the public will acknowledge her apology. 

Meanwhile, quite a few people online are posting in opinions of the article professing the town of Millinocket is a racist group. 

Peter Jamieson, Millinocket’s town supervisor, reported he preferred to set the report straight. 

“We sense extremely strongly that we just have no place for this in our local community,” Jamieson said.

Steve Golieb, Millinocket’s city council chairman, stated they are in the course of action of discussing how they want to shift ahead, when also trying to make a single issue crystal clear, “an regrettable incident like this does not characterize who we are as a local community,” Golieb said.

The business, also putting up an apology concept Wednesday afternoon to Fb


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