In an act that many locals are calling “offensive” and “lewd,” a Donald Trump supporter’s gas station sign is now featuring a highly-charged political message. The Shell gas station, owned by unapologetic Trump supporter Bradford Lewis, is located in Davidson County, Tennessee, and its marquee sign is adding fuel to the already hateful political circus playing out in the United States this election cycle.
— One Sorry President (@0bama_2012) September 15, 2016
So what does the Donald Trump supporter’s gas station sign have to say that people are getting so bent out of shape about? Is this another case of people getting offended over nothing? As the Huffington Post reports, it certainly appears that the complainer’s issues with the flashing sign at Lewis Country Store are legitimate ones, especially considering that the sign is easily seen by children.
In full, the Shell gas station sign displays the following rolling message, carefully edited so as not to be illegal, but with its vulgar language still clearly distinguishable.
“Trump Just Said It. Bill Clinton Did It! The Only P*$$y Trump Ever Grabbed Was Paul Ryan! #TrumpThatB***h.”
Here is the Trump supporter’s gas station sign in all of its politically charged glory.
The sign attached to Bradford Lewis’ gas station is apparently referencing Donald Trump’s recent scandal in which he was caught on tape bragging about his ability to grab attractive women “by the p***y,” whether they want him to or not and with or without permission. Because he’s rich. The tape in question was recorded over a decade ago, and its release appears to have cost TV personality Billy Bush his job.
@Shell 1) As long as the Nashville, TN Shell Station called Lewis Country Store continues its foul signage cursing HRC, I will be boycotting
— Tanana Mahood (@TananaMahood) October 15, 2016
— (((Eykis))) (@Eykis) August 20, 2016
— TRUMP=NEVER HILLARY (@StaceyMaLaine) August 11, 2016
— Ahab (@Ahab_Of_Gilead) October 14, 2016
According to the Donald Trump supporter who owns the gas station and its publicly reprehensible marquee sign, he often chooses to “have fun” with his marquee. Bradford Lewis is also not apologizing for causing offense, not publicly, not to the media, and not on social media. Rather, he said in a recent interview that he has the right to display his political views on the sign he owns.
“I own the store, and the last time I checked we still have freedom of speech in the good ‘ole U.S. of A.”
— Bill Mendocino (@BillYosemite) October 15, 2016
The owner of Lewis Country Store originally posted a video featuring the Donald Trump supporter’s controversial sign to its business Facebook page. That video has gotten well over 200,000 views, and (not surprisingly) has caused a lot of social media bickering. And, likely to Bradford Lewis’ delight, a lot of free publicity. The original Facebook posting of the video also featured a caption guaranteed to offend.
“Heads are spinning and exploding as we speak…”
— One Sorry President (@0bama_2012) September 15, 2016
When social media users complained on the Trump supporter’s store’s Facebook page, the store responded in kind. And in a way guaranteed to raise more than a few offended hackles.
“It’s ‘Lewis Country Store’ not ‘Lewis’ County Store’ what you fail to realize is we don’t care… it’s a very liberating feeling having a of set balls…. they’re so big I’m gonna need a wheelbarrow to haul em around in.”
The specific comment that Lewis County Store was responding was referencing rumors that Shell is planning to pull its gasoline contract with the Donald Trump supporter’s gas station over the offensive sign and the owner’s refusal to change the message.
— linnie (@linnie13) October 12, 2016
To that end, Shell has addressed consumer complaints and concerns regarding the offensive sign, but not this time around. You see, this is far from the first time that the Donald Trump supporter’s gas station has featured an offensive political message on its sign. In the past, the marquee has displayed various messages that could be construed as hatefully critical of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“‘#Trump that B****,’ ‘Never Forget Benghazi,’ ‘Closed on Sundays to prep for the Crusade,’ and ‘Seven years of Obama and we can’t figure out which restroom to use.'”
In response to those previous offensive marquee messages, Shell corporate released a statement that indicated that pulling their brand from the gas station over the political messages was a real possibility.
“We do have brand guidelines in our licensing agreement that all independent sites must adhere to. When there are violations, we ask for the issue to be addressed. Continued violations could result in more aggressive action including potential de-branding.”
Lewis Country store in Nashville, TN. Way to keep it classy so that kids can learn new words. ???? pic.twitter.com/YmYhQl1Y7g
— ERKellyRN (@kellylrbrn) June 30, 2016
At this point, Shell hasn’t directly threatened to pull their contract with the Trump supporter’s gas station over the controversial signs, but it has commented to the local media that the company is aware of the sign and has tried to distance Shell from the words Bradford Lewis has chosen to so publicly display.
“The content of the message does not reflect the views or opinions of Shell and we are following up with this independently owned location to investigate further.”
What do you think? Is this kind of message appropriate for a gas station marquee that can be read by children? Are critics correct in calling the message “offensive” and “lewd”? Should the Donald Trump supporter’s gas station sign cost the owners their contract with Shell?
[Featured Image by 2p2play/Shutterstock]