The backlash against Maine’s Harry E Reed Insurance Agency continues with the loss of two major partnerships.
Insurance giants Allstate and Progressive are backing out of their business contracts with the local Millinocket agency after it displayed a closed for business sign that read: “Juneteenth. It’s whatever… We’re closed. Enjoy your fried chicken and collard greens,” the New York Post reported.
The sign sparked outrage online, with people calling out the blatant racism in the town and the insurance giants who were reportedly in partnership with the Harry E Reed Insurance Agency.
“Is that an @Allstate logo on the bottom right?” one user observed, per the New York Post. “Bet they also do @progressive. Is this the type of hatred you want posted right next to your company logo?”
Harry Reed Insurance in Millinocket, Maine put this sign in their window. And, is that an @Allstate logo on the bottom right? Bet they also do @progressive. Is this the type of hatred you want posted right next to your company logo? pic.twitter.com/P1KeJb5UOq
— Geo1976rge (@C1976George) June 21, 2022
In response, both companies released statements dissolving any association with the agency. They both emphasized that the agency’s actions violated their code of conduct.
“We are terminating our contract with this independent agent,” Allstate wrote on its official Twitter account. “Our commitment to Inclusive Diversity and Equity is non-negotiable, and we take action when individuals violate our code of conduct.”
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.
— Allstate (@Allstate) June 22, 2022
In an emailed statement, a Progressive spokesperson told NPR: “At Progressive, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion racism (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.”
“The sign is in direct violation of that commitment and doesn’t align with our company’s Core Values and Code of Conduct,” Sibel added.
According to Insurance Business Magazine, Melanie Higgins, reportedly the daughter of Harry E Reed, claimed responsibility for posting the sign and has since issued an apology on Facebook.
“I would like to publicly apologize for any misunderstanding or hurt that has arisen out of my usual, snarky office closure signs and content,” Higgins said in the post, adding that she was “reprimanded.”