Local ice cream maker Wilcoxson’s is under fire for an inflammatory comment it provided in response to a question on its Facebook page Wednesday morning.
An unidentified Facebook user asked the company on Sept. 21 whether its cookies and cream ice cream had gelatin in it. The user was concerned if the gelatin contained pork because the user was a self-identified Muslim.
Company president Matt Schaeffer said in a phone interview that he responded around 7 a.m., “We don’t deliver outside of Montana, certainly not Pakistan.”
The comment incited an immediate reaction from the original questioner, who is identified in a screenshot as being located near Sheridan, Wyo. Other Facebook users inundated the Wilcoxson’s page with their reactions as well, leading Schaeffer to shut down the page. Angry Internet users have resorted to posting their outrage to the forum site Reddit and the company’s Yelp page.
Schaeffer said his response was not racist. He was “overwhelmed with work,” had a break and went on the company’s Facebook page to respond to questions. The user had an icon next to the name that said “Pakistan,” Schaeffer said. Responding quickly, he said he jotted his response down.
“I thought he was making this comment from Pakistan,” Schaeffer said. “It wasn’t a racist comment… It was just an honest mistake.”
From there, the comment took on a life of its own, he said. People posted such nasty things on the Wilcoxson’s page that he deleted it and said, “It’s no longer going to be in existence.”
“I apologize if he took it wrong, that’s not what I meant by it. I guess I didn’t read the whole thing,” Schaeffer said. But the reaction to the answer “was bad. There were cuss words. It was just bad, so I just took (the Facebook page) down.”
Five comments calling Wilcoxson’s a racist company and calling for a boycott have been posted to its Yelp page as of 11 a.m. The Reddit thread has hundreds of posts.
Schaeffer said in a phone interview that all flavors of Wilcoxson’s ice cream contain kosher gelatin.
Jason Bacaj may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 582-2635.