In an attempt to latch onto a popular trending hashtag, the social media community manager for DiGiorno Pizza’s official Twitter account posted a tweet on Monday evening which read “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” Unfortunately, the community manager neglected to research the meaning of the hashtag before using it in an attempt to sell more pizzas. The term “#WhyIStayed” is currently being used by women on Twitter that have survived an abusive relationship with their partner. In addition, there’s a second hashtag, “#WhyILeft,” that’s being used by women that were able to successfully escape an abusive relationship.
Shortly after the tweet was published, a firestorm of tweets were directed at DiGiorno assuming the company was making light of the hashtag. The tweet was quickly deleted and DiGiorno’s community manager immediately issued an apology to the public. That tweet read “A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before posting.”
A follow-up tweet was posted this afternoon that read “We heard from many of you, and we know we disappointed you. We understand, and we apologize to everyone for this mistake.” Interestingly, the team also took the time to apologize directly to many Twitter users in order to deal with the backlash.
@tiffanyetowns Please believe we would never intentionally make light of such a serious topic, Tiffany. You have our deepest apologies.
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) September 9, 2014
This particular hashtag burst in popularity after TMZ released the full video of now-former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancé Janay Palmer in the face, which caused her head to slam against a metal bar in a hotel elevator. Rice is then seen dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. Despite that incident occurring during February 2014, Palmer went on to marry Rice approximately one month later. That’s specifically why the “#WhyIStayed” hashtag became hyper-relevant in the last 48 hours.