Cafe Boss Apologises For 'Nasty' Sign Mocking Wheelchair Users

A café owner has been forced to offer a grovelling apology after a sign they put up included a joke mocking the disabled community.

Seddon Deadly Sins Café in Melbourne, Australia, is known for its tongue-in-cheek comments which are regularly written on the chalk board outside the shop.

But customers claimed staff had gone too far with their latest 'joke' which poked fun at people who use wheelchairs.

The sign read: "My girlfriend broke up with me, so I stole her wheelchair.

"Guess who came crawling back."

Since it was put up, photographs of the sign have been circulating social media, and unsurprisingly it has been criticised.

One person wrote: "Any café that thinks jokes about abuse and violence and against disabled people is NOT a community café worth supporting."

The controversial joke didn't go down well with customers. Credit: Seddon Deadly Sins/Facebook
The controversial joke didn't go down well with customers. Credit: Seddon Deadly Sins/Facebook

Another added: "Your humour can be utterly wrong without demeaning people. Going for the cheap shot is just that - Cheap. And nasty."

Campaigner and feminist Clementine Ford shared the 'appalling' post to her Facebook page.

She said: "It's absolutely appalling and totally ignorant. Unfortunately, the owner of the cafe is doubling down on it in the comments on their post, saying they 'don't believe in censorship' and calling it nothing more than a 'silly pun'.

"Women with disabilities are exponentially more exposed to abuse and subject to it by their partners - and for wheelchair users, one of the ways this control is exercised is by removing their accessibility tools ie THEIR WHEELCHAIRS."

At the time, the café's owner tried to defend the joke but eventually caved and posted an apology.

It read: "Today I made the mistake of making light of something that I had not considered was a brutal reality for some people.

"Colleen Hartland shared a report with me that highlighted domestic violence against people with disabilities. I'm ashamed that it took this for me to learn about this abuse.

"I apologise for my ignorance and any offence that it has caused. Regardless of the original intent, I should have known better."

The cafe's boss has since replaced the sign and apologised for any offence caused. Credit: Seddon Deadly Sins Cafe
The cafe's boss has since replaced the sign and apologised for any offence caused. Credit: Seddon Deadly Sins Cafe

Despite the backlash and the apology however, there were still some who claimed it was only meant in jest and people were just overreacting.

One person said: "As someone who has a disability, I just want to say anyone offended by this needs to get a life. I have crutches and people always joke about stealing them. The ability to make jokes about it just shows people are comfortable with people who are different, which is all anyone with a disability actually wants."

Another added: "Calm down people. It was a joke."


Featured Image Credit: Seddon Deadly Sins Cafe/Facebook

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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