After the Storm

Here’s How Not to Reference Sandy in Your Lifestyle Newsletter

"We're a little embarrassed by that actually."
screen shot 2012 11 05 at 1 17 46 pm Heres How Not to Reference Sandy in Your Lifestyle Newsletter

(Screencap: Thrillist)

Last week, startups across New York City galvanized to help support the victims of Hurricane Sandy, establishing coworking spaces, volunteer groups and easy ways for users to donate to recovery efforts. But it’s a new week, one where the subways are mostly running normally and many across the city have their electricity back. As the sense of helplessness brought by Sandy fades, the internet’s penchant for irony and offensive jokes has come roaring back. The first (and undoubtedly not the last) company to fall into this tasteless trap? New York-based daily email service Thrillist.

In a recommendation for Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbeque sent out via email to its New York subscribers today, Thrillist included this delightful description:

Homeless thanks to the hurricane? Want to get away from the unshowered people staying at your apartment, because they’re homeless thanks to the hurricane? Been without St. Louis ribs for four long days, thanks to the hurricane? Then get yourself over to Fletcher’s, the brisket-y baby of a guy who goes by BBQ Billy, and is currently smoking meats in a 2,600lb pit.

Considering that Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday that 40,000 New Yorkers were rendered homeless by Sandy, the joke falls a little flat.

Some Twitter users were upset with Thrillist’s choice of language:

screen shot 2012 11 05 at 2 23 59 pm Heres How Not to Reference Sandy in Your Lifestyle Newsletter

screen shot 2012 11 05 at 2 24 32 pm Heres How Not to Reference Sandy in Your Lifestyle Newsletterscreen shot 2012 11 05 at 2 24 45 pm Heres How Not to Reference Sandy in Your Lifestyle Newsletter

screen shot 2012 11 05 at 2 24 54 pm Heres How Not to Reference Sandy in Your Lifestyle Newsletter

The offending copy appears to have been replaced on Thrillist’s website with something a little more PC.

“Yeah, we’re a little embarrassed by that actually — we’re always trying to toe the line of edgy humor and we pretty quickly realized we’d actually gone over the cliff with those jokes,” Thrillist cofounder and editor in chief Adam Rich told Betabeat. “Contrary to what our tone might have suggested, we are taking this storm very seriously (most of our own employees have been impacted in one way or another) and we’re actually in the process of planning a clothing drive through JackThreads to do our part in helping out the relief effort.”

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com