The Oregon Health Authority is pulling a television advertisement meant to raise awareness about social distancing following complaints that it was insensitive to Oregon's fishing community.
In the ad, workers on a fishing boat toss a member of the crew overboard in order to adhere to distancing guidelines.
The imagery didn't sit right with Dean Sawyer, the mayor of Newport, Ore.—just last week, a boat capsized in Tillamook Bay, killing one.
According to KGW-TV, Sawyer sent a letter to Gov. Kate Brown describing the video as "very insensitive and disturbing to the families of our local fishing fleet." In response, the OHA pulled the video from television and YouTube. It can be viewed at the start of the news segment below:
"Oregon Health Authority is incredibly sorry to hear about this loss and we wish the families involved our heartfelt condolences," the agency said in a statement. "This ad was produced and filmed in early January, well before the recent accident on the Oregon Coast. In light of the accident, we understand the concerns it raises in coastal communities."
It's not the first time the OHA has stumbled in an attempt at pandemic messaging. In October, a Halloween-themed Facebook live session was widely mocked after the participating doctor delivered a COVID-19 death count while dressed like a clown—even Stephen Colbert made fun of it.