Valley business owner under fire for social media 'slave' post on MLK Day

Posted at 10:55 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 10:10:37-05

A Valley business owner is apologizing after she sparked outrage with a Facebook post that many felt was insensitive on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

The owner of Phoenix Central Therapy, a massage business in Glendale, roused the internet's ire when she compared herself to a slave for working on the holiday. The business owner, Amanda Ong, said she wasn't thinking when she posted the comment. 

"It was a total misunderstanding and I never meant to have anybody have issues with the word slave," said Ong. 

But many felt that MLK Day was the wrong time to drum up business with this post:

"Who needs a massage tomorrow? I'll be available for MLK day. Nothing like working as a slave. Lol." 

"I just didn't see the comedy in it," said Erica Wilson, one of the many people who took offense to Ong's post. 

Wilson said her ancestors were slaves. She didn't like the implication of Ong's post. 

"To denigrate Dr. King on his day and to equate her work to slavery was just disconcerting. It was upsetting," said Wilson. 

Ong said she tried to clean up the mess by deleting the first post and adding a couple explanations.  

"I never meant to say anything about slavery on a black day. I slave away. That's all I meant," said Ong. 

Ong said she opened the massage business a year ago. Now, with her rating tanking, she's worried about her business.

"[I'm a] single mom trying to provide for myself and kids," said Ong. "I guess I chose the wrong word today. I'm really sorry for that."

Wilson said Ong should choose her words more carefully. 

"You should value your words and what you say and how those words affect other people," said Wilson. 

Ong told us she would be happy to offer a discount to anybody she offended.