News State Tasmania News Now for a really divisive issue: Say ‘no’ to pineapple on pizza

Now for a really divisive issue: Say ‘no’ to pineapple on pizza

Wiseguise pizza shop
Alex Jones from Wiseguise says "we try not to have a political point of view as a business". Photo: ABC
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The owners of a Tasmanian pizza shop have altered the meaning of an anti-same-sex marriage billboard next to their business, a day after a Hobart hotel distanced itself from a billboard atop its premises.

Employees at Wiseguise Pizza, in the Launceston suburb of Mowbray, started painting the brick wall adjacent to the “It’s OK to say no” sign, adding the words “to pineapple on pizza”.

Worker Ben Barwick said the shop did not want to take a political stance.

“We are painting the side of our building, not on the sign, and basically turning that into a bit of humour,” he said.

“It’s a huge debate at the moment, obviously, everyone’s talking about whether pineapple should be on pizza or not.”

Mr Barwick said Wiseguise staff were “respectful of everyone’s opinions” and “we’re just here to make pizza”.

Wiseguise managing director Alex Jones said he believed the billboard would have had a negative impact on business.

“We try not to have a political point of view as a business, so I think we’ve taken the stance away from it,” he said.

“I think this is a better solution to just the sign on its own.”

It took Mr Jones and his employees about three hours to complete their addition.

“It’s the Australian way, you know, to take an issue that’s got a lot of people divided at the moment and make it a little bit more light-hearted,” he said.

“Obviously we’re big believers in freedom of speech, and we’re very lucky that we live in a country that allows us to be like that.”

Mr Jones said the billboard, which supports a ‘No’ vote in the federal government’s same-sex marriage postal survey, was put up on Thursday morning and was defaced with purple paint by a member of the public a short time later.

Ben Barwick
Ben Barwick says Wiseguise workers are “just here to make pizza”. Photo: ABC

‘No’ sign forces pro-SSM hotel to clarify stance

The readjustment of the sign’s sentiment comes a day after the owner of The Winston bar in Hobart posted on Facebook a clarification for patrons that her establishment was supportive of same-sex marriage.

An electronic billboard on the roof of the building housing The Winston features an “It’s OK to say no” message.

Bar owner Caroline Kiehne said she was American and “a firm believer in freedom of speech” but it was “definitely something that we don’t agree with”.

“Winston supports equality for ALL. The Winston is in no way affiliated with the billboard on the roof of our building or the views of its advertisers,” the message said.

“In case there was any doubt: Winston is all about LOVE.”

The hotel has received mostly positive feedback from patrons for its pro-same-sex-marriage stance on its Facebook page.

Another anti-same-sex marriage advertisement posted on a fixed billboard at the Royal Hobart Showgrounds in Hobart’s northern suburbs was removed within five hours on Wednesday.

The advertisement was paid for by the Coalition for Marriage which was not given warning that it was being taken down.

Spokesman Alex Sidhu said the group had talked to the advertising company, Claude Neon Media, about the removal.

He would not comment on the reasons but said “we’re obviously disappointed that that’s happened”.

Mr Sidhu confirmed the sign would not be going back up at that site.