Two major insurance companies have terminated their relationships with a Maine insurance agency after it displayed a racist sign about the Juneteenth holiday earlier this week.
Photos of the establishment posted online show a sign taped to the inside window of the Harry E. Reed Insurance agency in Millinocket, Maine, saying:
“Juneteenth ~it’s whatever… We’re closed. Enjoy your fried chicken & collard greens.”
The sign sparked immediate backlash, prompting the owner of the agency to issue an apology on their Facebook page.
“I am so sorry for any pain I have caused and the negative attention it has brought to our beautiful community,” the post says, according to CNN.
In response, both Allstate and Progressive announced that they are terminating their relationship with the local agency, CNN reports.
Progressive is “aware and appalled” by the sign recently posted at the Harry E Reed Agency, spokesman Jeff Sibel said in a statement reported by CNN.
“At Progressive, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to our Core Values. We’re committed to creating an environment where our people feel welcomed, valued and respected and expect that anyone representing Progressive to take part in this commitment,” according to the statement. “The sign is in direct violation of that commitment and doesn’t align with our company’s Core Values and Code of Conduct.”
Meanwhile, Allstate told the news network: “We are terminating our contract with this independent agent. Our commitment to Inclusive Diversity and Equity is non-negotiable and we take action when individuals violate our code of conduct.”
Millinocket Town Council Chair Steve Golieb expressed disappointment about the sign in a statement on Facebook.
“It is deeply saddening, disgraceful and unacceptable for any person, business, or organization to attempt to make light of Juneteenth and what it represents for millions of slaves and their living descendants. There is no place in the town of Millinocket for such a blatant disregard of human decency.”