Uptown Vapor Shoppe has been open at 2817 Hennepin Avenue for a year. Since day one, the business has had a sign in its window that says, "No Statutory Vape."
The sign's reference is meant to be to a store policy prohibiting minors from purchasing products. It had never been an issue until last Friday, when the Vapor Shoppe's Facebook page was slammed by commenters decrying the sign for making light of statutory rape.
Here's a few examples of how that social media discussion played out:
Vapor Shoppe ultimately decided to scrape off "Statutory" and change the sign to read, "No Underage Vape," but manager Jesse Siegel was none too happy about it when we talked to him Saturday afternoon.
"It definitely didn't have anything to do with rape," Siegel says. "The whole thing got blown completely out of proportion. They were aggressive, harassing us all day... it sucked."
Siegel says he and the rest of the Vapor Shoppe's management decided to change the sign "because we were afraid."
"None of [the protesters] came in and talked to us, it was all Facebook and phone calls," Siegel says. "I am a survivor of sexual violence myself and it's so fucked up to be attacked like this."
"They're obviously just bored and want to harass people and jump on to something," Siegel continues.
Siegel says Uptown Vapor Shoppe contributes to organizations working to prevent sexual violence.
"We're a very supportive company that gives money to a lot of different nonprofits and welcomes people of all races, colors, and sexuality."