Cranberry beer store takes down sign at center of social media backlash

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A local beer store sign telling people that they can take their masks off unless they look like Dr. Rachel Levine, the former Secretary of Health, is causing controversy.

Greg Harrold, the assistant manager of Save on Beer in Cranberry, said this was a huge misunderstanding and that in no way did they expect this to be taken the way that it was.

“The overwhelming majority laughed and thought it was humorous, which is what it was intended to be,” said Harrold.

It wasn’t a laughing matter for everyone as several people took to social media and called his business transphobic.

“Say whatever they want. I’m not far from it. I have a niece that just announced that she is getting married to her girlfriend over the weekend. I congratulated her,” he said. “When the mask mandate was lifted, we put up a sign that said, ‘Masks no longer required.’ Underneath that was a sign that said: ‘Unless you look like Frankenstein, then please keep it on.’”

Then they decided to change it up, and Dr. Levine’s name went on the sign.

“It might’ve been a little bit bad taste, but look back over the years, comedy’s been pretty ruthless on people over the years,” Harrold said. “Now, you say the wrong thing, and you’re racist, transphob—, homophobe, whatever.”

We talked to several customers about the sign and most didn’t feel comfortable talking about it.

“Some people would laugh at that, and some people would take offense to that,” Steve Bullington said. “I understand both sides, you know, and that’s why we are a democracy.”

Now the sign has changed. And Harrold doesn’t expect this issue to affect his business. But he does have this message for anyone he’s offended.

“If you have an issue, come in and talk to me. I’m here all day long,” he said.