Allstate and Progressive end relationships with local insurance agency due to alleged racist Juneteenth sign
By Kiely Westhoff, CNN
Two major insurance companies terminated their relationships with a Maine insurance agency after it allegedly displayed a racist sign about the Juneteenth holiday earlier this week.
Photos taken Monday, which CNN has obtained, show a sign taped to the inside window of the Harry E. Reed Insurance agency in Millinocket, Maine.
"Juneteenth ~it's whatever... We're closed. Enjoy your fried chicken & collard greens," the sign said.
According to CNN affiliate WGME, the person who says they posted the sign issued an apology on Facebook, writing in part on the company's page: "I am so sorry for any pain I have caused and the negative attention it has brought to our beautiful community."
CNN has seen the Facebook post and reached out to the individuals listed as the owners of the insurance company as well as the person who says they posted the apology.
Progressive is "aware and appalled" by the sign recently posted at the Harry E Reed Agency, spokesman Jeff Sibel said in a statement to CNN.
"At Progressive, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to our Core Values. We're committed to creating an environment where our people feel welcomed, valued and respected and expect that anyone representing Progressive to take part in this commitment," according to the statement. "The sign is in direct violation of that commitment and doesn't align with our company's Core Values and Code of Conduct."
In an email statement to CNN, Allstate said, "We are terminating our contract with this independent agent. Our commitment to Inclusive Diversity and Equity is non-negotiable and we take action when individuals violate our code of conduct."
Millinocket Town Council Chair Steve Golieb expressed disappointment about the sign in a statement on Facebook.
"It is deeply saddening, disgraceful and unacceptable for any person, business, or organization to attempt to make light of Juneteenth and what it represents for millions of slaves and their living descendants," Golieb said in the statement. "There is no place in the town of Millinocket for such a blatant disregard of human decency."
Millinocket has about 4,000 residents and is about three hours north of Portland.
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