'Scumbag hat' tweet creates backlash for Seattle DOT


In an attempt to make followers laugh, the Seattle Department of Transportation tweeted a photo with commuters and “scumbag hats” Monday morning, which resulted in backlash.

The photo was a shot of gridlock traffic on the West Seattle Bridge and it included several brown “scumbag hats” photoshopped on many vehicles.

“Scumbag hat” refers to a popular Internet meme, added to photos to describe someone as a scumbag.

In response to the tweet City of Seattle communications director Jeff Reading released a statement: 

“It’s never acceptable for a city employee to ridicule members of the public. I understand the tweet in question was meant humorously, but many — myself included — took it quite differently. Mayor Murray holds a high standard of respect for communications with the public across all city departments. We will ensure that this type of offending humor is not repeated in communications to the public by City of Seattle employees.” 

Officials with the West Seattle Transportation said the tweet was inappropriate and unprofessional. 

SDOT spokesman Rick Sheridan released a statement after the tweet:

“The use of the hat meme was not intended to insult drivers but to highlight a roadway problem and help drivers make decisions about their trips. We apologize to anyone that was offended by the tweet.

Our traffic management center personnel typically use humorous memes to highlight problematic situations for drivers. The staff member was trying to note that rubbernecking near a collision site was creating delays.

We have removed the tweet from our Twitter feed. The staff member’s supervisor will also reinforce the department’s standards for social media. Again, we apologize if anyone was offended.”

The tweet has been removed. 



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy
#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy

“Black Panther” is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and thousands of children may have a chance to see it for free thanks to the #BlackPantherChallenge.  Earlier this month, Frederick Joseph, of New York, launched a GoFundMe to help students from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem “see a black major cinematic...
James Franco, ‘Wonder Woman’ among Oscar nomination snubs
James Franco, ‘Wonder Woman’ among Oscar nomination snubs

Nominations were announced for the 90th Academy Awards‬‬ Tuesday, and although a number of actors and filmmakers and films have multiple noms, some names expected to be called were snubbed. >> Read more trending news  According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Franco was considered by many to likely be nominated for his role ...
Silo collapse in New Carlisle: Facts and figures you should know
Silo collapse in New Carlisle: Facts and figures you should know

Officials are still cleaning up following a grain silo collapse which happened late Sunday night in New Carlisle. The collapse caused 10,000 tons of corn to spill onto Ohio 571, a major road in the city. The roadway is expected to be blocked until Wednesday at the earliest. Until the road is cleared, the Ohio Department of Transportation is recommending...
Inspiration for 'Rosie the Riveter,' Naomi Parker Fraley, dies
Inspiration for 'Rosie the Riveter,' Naomi Parker Fraley, dies

The woman who many believe empowered housewives to leave their kitchens and enter the workplace left empty when men went to fight in World War II has died. Naomi Parker Fraley was discovered in 2015 to have been the inspiration for the “Rosie the Riveter” poster tha decades earlier had become the symbol in which women realized &ldquo...
Police plan to ramp up security at Jackson Browne concert in Florida after threat
Police plan to ramp up security at Jackson Browne concert in Florida after threat

There will be increased security during singer-songwriter Jackson Browne’s concert Tuesday evening at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts after a threat was made at a northwest Indiana church known for its progressive stands on racial and social justice issues, the Orlando Police Department said. Police said banners with racist...
More Stories