A Sunday-night Facebook post signed by billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert announced that his organization "screwed up badly" when posting a downtown sign that said, "See Detroit like we do."
Filling windows along the ground level of the Vinton Building, the sign with the Bedrock real-estate company's insignia was a photograph of mostly all white people. U.S. Census data in 2010 showed the city to be more than 82% black.
"Although not intended to create the kind of feelings it did, the slogan/statement we used on these graphics was tone deaf, in poor taste and does not reflect a single value of philosophy that we stand for at Bedrock Development or in our entire Family of companies," according to the post.
Gilbert in the post said the "dumb" campaign slogan has been "killed." He also posted images of additional panels that "reflects the population of the city that we do business in and also reflects the diversity among our own workforce in Detroit," according to the post.
The first panel was installed Friday, but Gilbert said it was removed Saturday as soon as they realized that the "partial installation would completely distort our vision for the finished project."
A number of social media posts over the weekend expressed frustration with the installation, which occurred on the weekend of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 disturbance in Detroit.
Detroit City Councilman André Spivey posted after the sign was removed that it appears "Bedrock got the message."
Gilbert's full statement is embedded below:
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