A D.C. pop-up bar’s cocktail — the “Pill Cosby,” garnished with empty pill capsules — became a national topic of conversation Monday when the bar’s owners came under fire from sexual assault victims and others who were angered and offended by the drink.
Diet Starts Monday, a retail and restaurant concept, originally said the drink was to bring awareness to sexual assault. Photos of the pill-topped cocktail, first reported by Washingtonian, began to make their way around Twitter, where it became a national trending topic. Monday was also the day jury selection began for entertainer Bill Cosby, who is accused of sexual assault. Women who have spoken out about their alleged assaults by Cosby have said that the actor drugged them.
On Twitter, the reaction was fierce and swift. People told the trio of men behind the bar that their sexual assault joke wasn’t funny.
It wasn’t long before the restaurant pulled the drink off the menu and apologized. Co-founders Davin Gentry, John Geiger and Kevin “Scooty” Hallums did not respond to a request for comment. They issued a statement on Twitter:
Diet Starts Monday’s Yelp reviews are tanking quickly. “Don’t give your money to a place that profits off rape jokes. More importantly, send a message to corporations that if they continue to normalize and poke fun at rape, their businesses will fail. Money talks. Let’s yell.” wrote Eileen C., one representative review. And one photo on Twitter showed a “Rapey Douches” sign added to the business’s front door.
The restaurant is around the corner from Ben’s Chili Bowl, which considered Cosby an honored guest and included the comedian in a mural on its wall. That mural was painted over in January after months of pressure on the restaurant’s owners to remove it, although the owners said the decision was made because the facade needed refreshing.