Indiana pizzeria Memories Pizza found itself in hot water after it announced it would refuse to serve its food at gay weddings. Shortly after, the internet found out and boy was it mad.
Memories’ employee Crystal O’Connor explained to Indiana ABC affiliate ABC57 two days ago that, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.” As she likely saw it, the company was merely exercising its religious freedom.
What she may have underestimated was that the vigilante web is also quite good at exercising its own freedom of speech.
Memories Pizza’s Yelp page was soon barraged with messages calling for a boycott. The spate of messages came from people around the country and expressed outrage at the pizzeria’s seeming discrimination.
“I would not spend my money to spread hate and evil,” one review wrote. Another simply wrote “you suck.” Other Yelpers posted prideful pictures of gay people and/or pizza. A few Yelpers posted in Memories’ defence, but it wasn’t enough. The business now has over 800 reviews, giving the restaurant a rating average of two stars. (Some Yelpers are claiming that their original messages were deleted.)
But the internet didn’t stop there.
One smart internet person noticed that Memories didn’t have its own website. So this anonymous person swung into action and registered the domain “memoriespizza.com” The website then posted satirical content, including phallic-shaped pizzas, the tagline “Call us to cater your gay wedding!”, and a list of topics: “Cheese, Sausage (the big thick kind), Pepperoni, Discrimination, Repressed homosexual urges.”
The fake website inevitably went viral, and many assumed it to be a case of Memories’ digital accounts being hacked. The somewhat ironic truth was that the small-town pizzeria had yet to set up its own website.
The creators of the false website seem to be feeling some remorse. The website now reads, “Don’t discriminate. (It’s not nice.) Also, in all seriousness, it’s really dumb to not own a domain name for your business. Especially after you spew stupid s*** on TV.”
Following all this controversy, the pizzeria is now temporarily closed.