Home improvement company Home Depot Inc. has apologised for a tweet that showed a picture of two African-American drummers with a person in a gorilla mask between them and asked: "Which drummer is not like the others?"
The tweet, from Home Depot's official Twitter account, @HomeDepot, was part of a college football promotion on ESPN. It was quickly pulled, but not before it was widely circulated on social media.
Home Depot said that it has fired the person and outside agency that was responsible for the tweet, but did not disclose their names.
We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. Deeply sorry. We terminated agency and individual who posted it.— The Home Depot (@HomeDepot) November 7, 2013
"We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive," said Stephen Holmes, spokesman for the US-based company.
Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates, said the tweet is "the worst possible message Home Depot can send out ... even if it gets attributed to stupidity."