IKEA Hammered for Serving Fried Chicken and Watermelon on Juneteenth

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Maybe IKEA should stick to Swedish meatballs.

According to WGCL-TV in Atlanta, an Atlanta-area branch of the some-assembly-required home furnishings chain featured a special menu for its employees last Saturday that left no stereotypical stone unturned. Items offered included fried chicken, mac and cheese, potato salad, collard greens, candied yams, and — of course — watermelon.

The store manager dashed off an email to employees that read, in part, “I truly apologize if the menu came off as subjective. It was created with the best of intentions by a few of our coworkers who believed they were representing their culture and tradition with these foods of celebration.”

In all fairness to the manager, the items chosen were based on recommendations from black co-workers. But in these fractious times, that’s simply not enough to quell the outrage.

In the meantime, IKEA is not alone in having its gesture of solidarity backfire. In 2010, NBC celebrated Black History Month by serving fried chicken, collards, corn bread, and black eyed peas, but the menu was swapped out for grilled chicken without a word.