One of London’s most popular tourist attractions is being dragged on social media for their “sexist and tasteless” marketing campaign for Valentine’s Day.
The London Dungeon, which recreates the city’s gory and macabre historical events in a gallows humour style, has apologised after posting a series of dark “jokes” on its official Facebook page. The posts seemed to praise femicide, incite fat-shaming and the killing of sex workers, and glorify women killers such as Jack the Ripper, Henry VIII and Sweeney Todd.
Perhaps the most controversial post, later deleted, read: “What’s the difference between your job and a dead prostitute? Your job still sucks!”
Among the “top Valentine’s tips” was: “If you want to live another day, don’t say this tonight,” and a picture reading: “Wow, you should really wear makeup more often”.
The fat-shaming ones read:
People reacted in the comments saying the campaign is “utter misogyny” and a “shameful apology of the violence against women”:
Others pointed to the fact that the London Dungeon is a very popular family attraction and school trips “are a big part of the revenue” :
The attraction was also criticised on Twitter.
And the East End Women’s Museum called for a boycott:
The PR for London Dungeon, which is managed by Merlin Entertainment, told Mashable they are deleting all the posts after the backlash.
“We apologise that our social posts caused offence,” Chloe Couchman said.
“Our ‘Dark Valentine’ campaign was a range of posts aimed to highlight the darker side of history and create debate and conversation.”
“As a brand we strive to entertain our guests so they can enjoy the London Dungeon experience – both in our attraction and on social media. However on this occasion we recognise that some of the topics many felt were inappropriate and therefore we apologise for any offence cause.”