By Tom Steele / 09.10.2016
A San Antonio mattress store says it will donate 30 percent of its sales this weekend to a 9/11 charity after drawing widespread criticism for an advertisement promoting a “Twin Towers Sale.”
In the video posted to Facebook, Miracle Mattress manager Cherise Bonanno says that there’s no better way to remember the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks than the sale, which offers any size mattress for the price of a twin mattress. Two employees stand in front of a pair of towers of mattresses and an American flag.
At the end of the video, which has since been removed from the store’s Facebook page, Bonanno swings her arms and the employees tumble into the mattress towers, knocking them over.
Bonanno shrieks, then turns to the camera and says, “We’ll never forget.”
It is unclear whether the advertisement was also aired on TV; the company also tweeted about the promotion Wednesday night.
On Thursday, the store responded to a sea of criticism by posting an apology, saying “Our intentions were not to hurt anyone at all.” The apology said the store’s staff is “full of military” and that they had lost relatives “due to 9/11.”
Hundreds of commenters on the post didn’t think the apology — which was later deleted — went far enough, however.
“You’re sorry you offended me? That’s not an apology I accept,” wrote Heather English. “Apologizing for creating it in the first place would be a start. Admitting you were WRONG for creating it is another step. There will never be an appropriate time to mock 9/11, and to do it to promote mattress sales?! Are you kidding me?”
Mayrita Perez Kent added that “no one that was directly impacted by that horrible day could EVER joke about it.”
Store owner Mike Bonanno — the manager’s father — posted a statement on the store’s Facebook page Thursday evening, calling the video “tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11.”
“All I can say is I am deeply sorry and on behalf of the entire Miracle Mattress family, I accept responsibility for this thoughtless and crude advertisement,” Mike Bonanno wrote.
He said that the video was created without his knowledge or approval and that he would hold his employees accountable for posting it.
Cherise Bonanno apologized in an interview with WOAI-TV.
“It was stupid,” she said. “It was a stupid idea that we sent out, and we apologize for our stupidity, and we really hope you forgive us for what we’ve done.”
The San Antonio television station reported that Miracle Mattress closed Thursday after receiving death threats but would be holding a sale this weekend — no longer calling it a “Twin Towers Sale” — and that 30 percent of its sales would be donated to a 9/11 charity.
“We are not hate; we are love,” Cherise Bonanno said. “We’re Miracle Mattress. We make miracles happen.”