A Mardi Gras group’s signage in downtown Mobile directed at Boeing has generated outrage on social media, and a reaction from Airbus.
The Comic Cowboys, a satirical Mardi Gras krewe for over 130 years, utilized their annual Fat Tuesday parade to target Airbus-rival Boeing. Four of the group’s signage targeted Boeing and the company’s struggles with the 737 Max airline following tragic plane crashes in 2018 and 2019.
The signage that generated the most outrage on social media Tuesday night and Wednesday morning included references to the two plane crashes that killed 346 people. The 737 Max aircraft has since been ground, creating a manufacturing crisis for Boeing during the past year.
One of the signs read, “Boeing, the sound a 737 makes when it hits the ground.” Another read, “Bad News: Boeing CEO gets 60 million $ Golden Parachute. Good News: Boeing Made the Parachute.”
Airbus, in a statement to AL.com, said the signage doesn’t reflect the company’s values.
“Airbus has been made aware of these signs. This group is not affiliated with Airbus in any way, and their messages do not reflect Airbus values. We have a great deal of respect for our industry colleagues and would never endorse or encourage such messages.”
The outrage on social media has been coming from mostly outside the Mobile area and from members and followers of aviation industry journalists and insiders.
The Comic Cowboys are well-known in Mobile for offending the sensibilities of Mardi Gras parade watchers in downtown Mobile for generations. Their longtime slogan is “Without Malice.”
Unlike Mobile’s other parading societies, the Comic Cowboys floats carry cartoons mocking everything from local personalities and football loyalties to national and international politics.
The group has come under fire in 2017, for parading with signage that was viewed as offensive to minority groups following the contentious 2016 presidential election. Several Mobile area politicians — including Mayor Sandy Stimpson — quit the group over concerns about the offensive floats.