Bus company issues clumsy apology after blistering backlash over its rebranding of a ‘Pride bus’ into an ‘NHS bus’
A British bus company apologised Tuesday morning (May 19) after it was blasted by Twitter users for rebranding an LGBT+ Pride bus into an “‘NHS’ bus”.
As the coronavirus continues to paralyse the nation, housebound families have encouraged children to doodle rainbows to hang in windows to motivate medics on their way to work.
In an attempt to amplify this, Plymouth Citybus suffered stinging criticism from the LGBT+ community after it announced last Saturday it both renamed and altered the double-decker bus it featured in Plymouth Pride parades.
Printed with the six-striped flag, the bus now bore “Thank you NHS and key workers” on its side instead of “Plymouth Citybus proudly supports Pride in Plymouth”.
🌈 Rainbows have become synonymous with hope and the NHS during the current pandemic, so we thought what better way to show our thanks to our amazing NHS and key workers, than to re-brand our Pride bus to our rainbow 'NHS' bus? 🌈
Look out for the bus on our roads soon! pic.twitter.com/yqq6OLNjq2
— Plymouth Citybus (@plymouthbus) May 16, 2020
A move that saw Plymouth Citybus be accused of erasing the LGBT+ community and misappropriating a historic symbol.
Transit company apologises for any ‘offence’ taken by rebranded Pride bus.
In a cascading series of barbed jokes, satirical memes and angered critiques, countless Twitter users hounded Plymouth Citybus for “re-appropriating” the Pride flag.
The company told PinkNews at the time that “the Pride bus in Plymouth has been borrowed to show support to the NHS and fellow key workers” and stressed it’s only “temporary”.
But as opposition mounted, Plymouth Citybus issued an apology across its social media platform three days later.
“We would like to apologise if the use of our pride bus to support the NHS and key workers has caused offence,” the public transit company wrote in the statement.
🙏We would like to apologise if the use of our pride bus to support the NHS and key workers has caused offence. This was not our intention. Our team have played a huge part in @PrideinPlymouth for many years. We are an all inclusive company representing the community we serve🙏
— Plymouth Citybus (@plymouthbus) May 19, 2020
“This was not our intention. Our team have played a huge part in Pride in Plymouth for many years.
“We are an all-inclusive company representing the community we serve.”