FACT CHECK: No, This Restaurant Sign Calling People Who Wear Masks ‘Sheep’ Is Not Real
An image shared on Facebook over 470 times purportedly shows a sign at Little Pigs BBQ restaurant telling customers to “take off the stupid mask.”
A member of the restaurant’s staff confirmed the photo is digitally edited. The photo stems from a website that allows users to customize the sign with their own message.
The image, which has garnered over 1,700 reactions on Facebook, appears to show a sign for the Little Pigs BBQ restaurant, located in Asheville, North Carolina, that reads, “We serve pork we do not serve sheep, so take off the stupid mask.”
The sign’s message is digitally fabricated. A reverse image search revealed a version of the image can be found on a website called atom.smasher.org. The website allows users to customize an image of the sign, along with other displays and billboards, with their own message. Web archives of the site show the image of the sign, along with the function to alter it, has existed since at least 2005.
“The images have been fake going on 15 years now,” Bruce Gordon, assistant manager of Little Pigs BBQ, told Check Your Fact. “Our sign is very much associated with not being offensive to different people, and just providing our menu,” he continued, explaining that people from various countries had been photoshopping their own message onto the restaurant’s sign for over a decade. (RELATED: Does This In-N-Out Burger Cup Say, ‘F*** Joe Biden’?)
In 2018, ABC 13 News published an article regarding the sign after an altered version of it appeared that claimed the restaurant was selling a “Trump special” of “lying fat pig” BBQ ribs. Little Pigs co-owner Carr Swicegood told the outlet the sign had been photoshopped and “There’s nothing we can do about it.”