KitchenAid Apologizes For 'Offensive Tweet' About Obama's Grandmother
Appliance maker KitchenAid quickly deleted and apologized for a message that went out on its Twitter account during last night's presidential debate because the comment about President Obama and his grandmother was so offensive.
The comment writer — who has not been identified — picked up on the president's mention of his grandmother and tweeted that:
"Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! 'She died 3 days b4 he became president'."
The company followed with a message expressing its "Deepest apologies for an irresponsible tweet that is in no way a representation of the brand's opinion."
Then Cynthia Soledad, KitchenAid's senior director, added tweets saying:
-- "I would like to personally apologize to President @BarackObama, his family and everyone on Twitter for the offensive tweet sent earlier."
-- "It was carelessly sent in error by a member of our Twitter team who, needless to say, won't be tweeting for us anymore."
"In a statement, Soledad said an employee intending to Tweet the comment from a personal Twitter account mistakenly sent it from the company's account instead. 'Appropriate actions are being taken' regarding that employee, she said."
For the record, here's what the president said about his grandmother (a full transcript and recording of the debate are posted here):
"You know, my grandmother, some of you know, helped to raise me. My grandparents did. My grandfather died awhile back. My grandmother died three days before I was elected president. And she was fiercely independent. She worked her way up, only had a high school education, started as a secretary, ended up being the vice president of a local bank. And she ended up living alone by choice. And the reason she could be independent was because of Social Security and Medicare. She had worked all her life, put in this money and understood that there was a basic guarantee, a floor under which she could not go.
"And that's the perspective I bring when I think about what's called entitlements. You know, the name itself implies some sense of dependency on the part of these folks. These are folks who've worked hard, like my grandmother. And there are millions of people out there who are counting on this."
There's much more about last night's debate over at It's All Politics.
Update at 5 p.m. ET. Analyzing KitchenAid's Response:
The "data geeks" at Simply Measured tracked the original tweet, reaction to it, KitchenAid's response and the reaction to that response. In a blog post, they write that:
"The whole thing happened, was responded to and damage-controlled in under 2.5 hours. From a PR standpoint, KitchenAid gets an A+ for the way they handled the situation. ... [And] overall, KitchenAid's professional and quick response to the gaffe was received well and earned the brand over 1,000 new followers since the time of Soledad's first response."