Mass. Auto Shop Owner Pulls Down Derogatory Sign After Hundreds of Complaints

"Disgusting, in poor taste and certainly derogatory to Sen. Harris," Salisbury's town manager said of the sign

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The owner of a Massachusetts auto shop likes to stir the political pot with the signs he posts out front, but his latest whipped up more reaction than usual.

Rob Roy, who owns Rob Roy Auto in Salisbury, has put up controversial signs in the past couple years, like one with a large Confederate flag that a caption said "thousands of Americans bled for."

This time, Roy came under fire for his sign mocking Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, using a derogatory word for women in reference to the vice presidential candidate. Under that was a phrase that echoed a sexually explicit smear targeting the pair that's been circulating on the internet.

The business owner defended his sign as "satire."

"I think she's a tool for the left. That's the whole meaning behind the sign," Roy claimed, referring to another meaning of the sexist word for women. "It's supposed to be satire, but the left didn't get it."

Sue O'Connell sits down with Democratic political strategist Alethea Harney to talk about the biggest takeaways from the vice presidential nominee's speech and what lies ahead for her on the campaign trail.

Town officials and neighbors seemed to understand the sign, but they still weren't laughing.

"Disgusting, in poor taste and certainly derogatory to Sen. Harris," Town Manager Neil Harrington said of the sign.

"I don't know how he gets away with it. Its embarrassing to drive by there with your child in the car and have to explain," said Michele Robbins of nearby Newburyport.

Roy says he knew the sign would get a reaction.

"That's what its all about, getting people to talk about politics — good, bad," he said. "I put up this sign, I probably knew they were going to take offensive."

The New York Times spoke to female political candidates from across the country who are taking a stand against the gender biases faced as women, from negative comments about their physical appearance to sexual references.

After getting hundreds of complaints about his latest sign, Roy took it down.

Harrington says he has also gotten hundreds of complaints, but that Roy is within his rights.

"Occasionally, he crosses the line, and this time, he went way over the line and upset a lot of people," the town manager said.

People who live near the auto shop say they are tired of Roy's signs, saying people often slow down to take pictures, causing traffic problems.

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