MSNBC declared ‘funnier than The Onion’ for op-ed on how ‘Red Lobster’s downfall’ affects black people

An opinion piece published on MSNBC drew buckets of mockery as social media users reacted to the idea that “Red Lobster’s downfall hits differently for Black communities.”

The piece, written by Robyn Autry, a sociology professor and director of the Center for the Study of Public Life at Wesleyan University, sparked quick reactions on X where users rolled their collective eyes.

Red Lobster announced it would be closing dozens of restaurant locations following its filing for bankruptcy. The seafood chain’s demise is seen as another casualty of the post-COVID era and of President Joe BIden’s crippling economy, along with its own disastrous “endless shrimp” marketing, Autry chose to look at things through race-colored glasses.

“Bill Darden opened the first Red Lobster restaurant south of Orlando, Florida, in 1968 just a few weeks before Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated,” the piece explained right out of the gate.

“Black consumers are among the most loyal. Sure, we like fish and a good deal — Red Lobster represented something like the strip mall version of the beloved fish fry — but we like being treated equally even more,” the op-ed continues.

“Black Americans’ taste for Red Lobster followed economic trends, as working- and middle-class diners opted for the pricier $25-$30-per-person casual dining experience over fast-food seafood options like Captain D’s and Long John Silver’s,” the piece noted.

“The restaurant became strongly associated with Black people celebrating special occasions,” Autry wrote, adding that “the chain became one of those Black culture things that people could relate to as it expanded.”

The mockery on X was brutal:

Frieda Powers


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