A restaurant in Washington, D.C., that thought it would be a good idea to garnish a drink named after Bill Cosby with empty pill capsules found itself on the wrong end of the internet Monday.
Diet Starts Monday, a restaurant/pop-up shop, put a tequila and hibiscus cocktail called “Pill Cosby” on its menu, and true to its name, it included a few empty pill capsules floating on top.
Cosby, as you may know unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two-plus years, has been facing accusations of drugging and sexually abusing dozens of women over the course of several decades.
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A trial centered on the allegations from one of his alleged victims, Andrea Constand, who said she was assaulted in the comedian’s Philadelphia home in 2004, began Monday in Pittsburgh with jury selection.
The stunt by Diet Starts Monday was meant to let “people be a little more aware” of the act of drink-drugging and date rape that can occur in bars, co-founder Davin Gentry told the Washingtonian.
Gentry added that the cocktail is on-brand with the restaurant’s theme and that of its sister retail store, which he said aims to push boundaries.
But one boundary Diet Starts Monday might not have expected to cross was how rightly intolerable the internet can be of those who make light of rape in any way.
“Plenty of ways to raise awareness on date rape, but naming a cocktail the ‘Pill Cosby’ has got to be nearly last on that list,” tweeted @musingsofmegan.
@SarahDnycity seconded that, saying, the drink “makes a joke out of sexual abuse. Rape is never funny.”
“I think they’re hoping for free publicity from protesters,” tweeted @DadLIbertarian.
Well, the restaurant definitely got publicity, but it was the ensuing backlash that caused Diet Starts Monday to pull the Pill Cosby within an hour or two of the news about the cocktail breaking.
“The drink was not made with any intent to offend anyone, especially not victims of rape,” the restaurant tweeted. “We take full responsibility.”
A second tweet said, “The drink has since been removed from the menu and we apologize to anyone who felt offended by this.”
This drink was not made with any intent to offend anyone, especially not victims of rape. We take full responsibility.— Diet Starts Monday (@dietstartsmon__) May 22, 2017
The drink has since been removed from the menu and we apologize to anyone who felt offended by this.— Diet Starts Monday (@dietstartsmon__) May 22, 2017