ASHEVILLE, N.C. (CIRCA) — Little Pigs Bar-B-Q's vintage sign goes back to the early '60s, but in recent years, it's become a sign of divided times.
The Asheville, North Carolina establishment has become the backdrop for cutting and even offensive social media posts according to Circa's affiliate WLOS.
"It says 'Trump special'," Tom Tomlin said, looking of an apparent photo of the iconic local sign. "'Lyin' fat pig, barbecue ribs, with orange sauce.'"
FAKE SIGNS: A MEME’s circulating with Little Pigs Barbecue sign & an anti-Trump menu. IT'S FAKE. In fact, the vintage Asheville restaurant sign is used for an online sign generator. I even made my own! BOTH ARE FAKE. Talking to restaurant today. Story 5:30pm tonight @WLOS_13 pic.twitter.com/hi6dFs1Hi2— John Le WLOS Reporter (@AbsoluteLe) October 12, 2018
However, Little Pig's co-owner Carr Swicegood says the photo isfake.
"Well, I got a call yesterday from Raleigh, someone was upset about it," he said. "I said, 'The sign's been Photoshopped. There's nothing we can do about it.'"
A concerned WLOS viewer took issue with it in a Facebook message.
"This is an outrage!" Patricia Scarberry wrote. "I don't care which Party you belong to, this is posted across from Asheville High School where young minds are being formed and are supposed to be taught respect! This disgusts me and a total disrespect for our President."
The person who shared the meme that Scarberry saw later regretted it. In the Facebook thread, she posted an apology, saying "I am embarrassed that I proliferated a scam."
Co-owner of Little Pigs Barbecue in Asheville frustrated that for years people have used online sign generator to customize message appearing on a pic of their sign. The MEMES are spread on social media. Latest “Trump Special” is latest example. Story 5:30pm @WLOS_13 pic.twitter.com/vSXuRsvZUg— John Le WLOS Reporter (@AbsoluteLe) October 12, 2018
Changing the sign and posting it is all too easy. For several years, an online sign generator has allowed users to customize the Little Pigs sign. Anyone can just log on and type in whatever they want.
"We don't put stuff like that, whether it's Democrat or Republican," Swicegood said.
When the WLOS crews went to restaurant on Friday, the sign said "Taking Applications" on one side and "Orders To Go..." on the other.
Other meme examples with fake wording include "Safest restaurant on Earth, no Muslims inside," and one that reads "Bring any NFL stuff and let us burn it" for a "free sandwich."
Little Pigs will try to exlain the issue one customer at a time.
"Somebody on the internet world put it out there," an employee said to a customer. "We got calls from Alaska -- Alaska!"
"I think the people that know us and eat in here regularly know that we wouldn't put something like that up," Swicegood said. "We can't take it off the internet, just learn to live with it."
"Why would anyone want to do this to this nice location that we enjoy?" Styles fumed.
WCIV has contributed to this report.