Ohio pizzeria owner's 'Fat people are harder to kidnap' billboard under fire

BARBERTON, Ohio (WLS) -- The owner of an Ohio pizzeria is under fire for a billboard that reads "Fat people are harder to kidnap."

Jeremy Clemetson has owned East of Chicago Pizza for 14 years and has been affiliated with the chain since 1995.

Over the last year, he started using humor for his outdoor advertising.

"I scour the internet for different signs that people had," Clemetson told WJW. "Sometimes I use them and sometimes I re-invent my own."

"Fat people are harder to kidnap," is a slogan that has been used for years on popular t-shirts sold on the internet.

"I discussed the sign with a few people and everyone thought it was funny, so I threw it up on our front sign and no one said anything," said Clemetson.

After its success, he then placed the slogan on a billboard..

But Clemetson said he took it down from in front of his store after corporate headquarters received a complaint.

The complaint said the sign was "rude" for mocking people who are fat. It also said the kidnapping reference was in "poor taste" considering January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month.

"I never even thought about it as the kidnapping aspect, I just meant it to be funny," said Clemetson.

Clemetson says the billboard will come down in the next couple of days.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.