A San Antonio mattress store is apologizing after a video promoting a "Twin Towers sale" drew widespread criticism on social media.
In a statement titled "An Apology to All the Victims and Families of 9/11," Miracle Mattress owner Mike Bonanno wrote Thursday, "I say this unequivocally, with sincere regret: the video is tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. Furthermore, it disrespects the families who lost their loved ones and continue to struggle with the pain of this tragedy every day of their lives."
The video shows store manager Cherise Bonanno standing in front of two piles of stacked twin beds. She says, "What better way to remember 9/11 than with a Twin Towers sale?" Then, two men fall into the beds, causing them to tumble, while Bonanno mock yells in terror before uttering, "We'll never forget."
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Mike Bonanno said the video, which has since been removed from the company's Facebook page, was posted without his knowledge or approval and that, "Over the next several days, we will determine an appropriate response to express our regret and support for the 9/11 victims and their families."
Read the complete apology letter below:
"An Apology to All the Victims and Families of 9/11 from Miracle Mattress:
I am Mike Bonanno, Owner of Miracle Mattress. Today, I was made aware of a social media video produced by our San Antonio team highlighting a promotional sale using the upcoming 9/11 Anniversary as the incentive. The video was posted on Facebook without my knowledge or approval from our corporate office in Houston.
I say this unequivocally, with sincere regret: the video is tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. Furthermore, it disrespects the families who lost their loved ones and continue to struggle with the pain of this tragedy every day of their lives.
All I can say is I am deeply sorry and on behalf of the entire Miracle Mattress family, I accept responsibility for this thoughtless and crude advertisement and will immediately hold my employees accountable for this serious lapse of decency.
I am disgusted such a video would have been conceived as a promotional tool and even more incensed it was created and posted on any social media site that represents Miracle Mattress.
Effective immediately, Miracle Mattress will review our entire marketing strategy to ensure a stringent approval process will be in place to stop this from every happening again. We will also engage a personnel review to hold these employees accountable for their actions.
Miracle Mattress strives to be a community partner and I could list our community outreach events and countless donations to the communities we serve. However, this one act negates years of work and a laundry list of what we have done will not suffice.
We apologize and we promise to do better. Over the next several days, we will determine an appropriate response to express our regret and support for the 9/11 victims and their families. But for now, only a sincere apology and acceptance of our fault is warranted.
Owner, Miracle Mattress"
Cherise Bonanno said the 20-second ad was a bad idea and they didn't realize it would cause controversy.
"We are not hate, we are love. We are somebody that stands out. We're Miracle Mattress, we make miracles happen. For our lives to be in danger, that's no what we ever wanted," Cherise Bonanno said. "It was stupid. It was a stupid idea that we sent out. And we apologize for our stupidity and we really hope you can forgive us for what we've done."
The company said they'll donate 30 percent of their sales this weekend to the 9/11 Foundation.