Melting Moment: Museum of Ice Cream Paints Black Insensitive Pink Protest Signage on Broadway

Posted on: June 8th, 2020 at 5:04 am by

Photo: Eddie Panta

There was a sudden and abrupt change in color tone at the Museum of Ice Cream in SoHo over the weekend.

That pink protest signage that had outraged locals and received swift backlash was subsequently painted black, the names of African-Americans who died from police brutality later reapplied. Yet this time without the “I SCREAM FOR…” pun.

Linking the museum’s brand color theme to the protest signage proved more than a touch too cute for followers of founder Maryellis Bunn. She was accused of being “performative” after  posting a photo of herself on Instagram hand-painting the pink sign onto the anti-looting plywood of the experiential, play-date Museum.

Former corporate board member Madison Utendhal, who aided in the original launch of MOIC, posted a terse statement on Bunn’s Instagram calling out the signage as “tokenistic” and asked Bunn to “put her money where her mouth is” when it comes to Black Lives Matter movement. (The post was subsequently deleted from the comment section.)

What exactly the community is screaming for right now may not be as easy for corporations to evoke as it has been in the past. And what corporations stand to gain, or in this case lose, by purporting to be the voice of the community may be under more scrutiny by both consumers and branding aficionados as the social justice protest movement continues to evolve.

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