The Palm Removes Caricatures of Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby From Its Walls
“We are not the judge or jury on these folks, but we do respond to customer complaints about anything that they don’t like in our restaurants," the steak house said in a statement.
The Palm, the steakhouse chain famously known for the celebrity caricatures adorning its walls, has removed portraits of Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby after the men were each accused of sexual misconduct.
On Tuesday, Page Six reported that Lauer’s caricature came off the wall about a month ago and that Weinstein’s and Cosby’s pictures were also removed, but did not note when they were taken down. The restaurant confirmed the removal in a statement to Eater.
“We are not the judge or jury on these folks, but we do respond to customer complaints about anything that they don’t like in our restaurants,” the statement reads. “When we receive complaints from our guests, we respond by doing what we believe will make The Palm the best experience and most comfortable place for our customers.”
Executive vice president Bruce Bozzi—whose great grandfather founded the original restaurant in 1926—told PEOPLE in 2015 that their “whimsy and cartoons have always been a part of our stories.”
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Bozzi also echoed the sentiment that customer service was their priority. “One of the challenges of being a 90-year-old business is staying relevant,” he said at the time. “You always have to be listening to your customers and paying attention to what’s going on.”
Though the restaurant is frequented by A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Jessica Parker, Bozzi stressed that “we treat everyone like a celebrity,” he said. “We have such pride in service. It’s a place where people celebrate life, whether it’s a business deal, an anniversary or a new baby. And that’s cool. I don’t know how many places can say that.”
NBC announced in November that Lauer, 59, had been fired after the network received a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior,” with reason to believe “this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Lauer addressed the allegations in a statement released shortly after his firing. “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.
“Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”