A Hollywood artist has taken responsibility for the image painted on a Torrance Chick-fil-A on Hawthorne Boulevard near the Redondo Beach border.
Manny Castro told the Huffington Post in an exclusive interview that he spray-painted "Tastes like hate" and a picture of a cow on the side of the eatery at 18200 Hawthorne Blvd. early Friday morning because of remarks Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy made in July against same-sex marriage.
"I'm against what these people stand for, what this company stands for," Castro, who is gay, told the Huffington Post. "They're trying to take away what little rights we already have."
What are people saying about this vandalism? Check out the Redondo Beach Patch Facebook page.
The black painted words—which play off the fast-food chain’s advertising campaign depicting cows encouraging consumers to eat more chicken by patronizing Chick-fil-A—were discovered Friday morning, and as of 9 a.m., police did not have a suspect, Torrance police Lt. Martin Vukotic told City News Service. A can of black spray paint was discovered near the wall.
Torrance police Sgt. Jennifer Uyeda said that the department had not heard about Castro’s interview until Patch contacted them. She said police would look into it.
Earlier Friday, she told LA Weekly that police were first tipped off to the graffiti by Fox 11 News, which had heard about the message from an anonymous caller.
Torrance police will be monitoring all the Chick-fil-A restaurants in the city throughout Friday, Vukotic told City News Service.
“We have extra patrol for all three of our locations in our city,” he said.
As Torrance police investigated the scene Friday, patrons showing up for breakfast snapped photos with their cell phones of the graffiti.
"I hate when politics get involved," said one man as he took a picture. "Those people are the ones filled with hate," he said, pointing to the graffiti on the wall.
In his comments to the Huffington Post, Castro seemed to disagree.
"It's paint on a wall," he said. "It got removed in less than an hour. It's not that much of a crime—it's a protest."
The Chick-fil-A CEO’s anti-gay-marriage comments last month sparked protests from gay-rights groups, as well as support from loyal restaurant customers and people against same-sex marriage, who showed up for a national “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A counter-protest dubbed "National Same-Sex Kiss Day" are planned for Friday night at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country. According to the organizer's Facebook page, the protest encourages same-sex couples to kiss at Chick-fil-A at 8 p.m. Friday.
—City News Service contributed to this report.