Best Buy Apologizes for Controversial Twitter Joke About Serial Podcast, Alleged Murder Site

Adnan Syed
Adnan Syed is featured in the popular Serial podcast. Courtesy of Yusuf Syed/AP Photo

Next time, Best Buy should stick to the Cap'n Crunch. The electronics giant came under fire this week for tweeting a controversial joke about the blockbuster podcast Serial. 

"We have everything you need," Best Buy tweeted on Thursday, Dec. 11. "Unless you need a payphone. #Serial."

The company was referencing an integral plot point in the wildly popular This American Life spin-off podcast Serial. Led by acclaimed journalist Sarah Koenig, the weekly installments dive into a murder case from 1999, attempting to clear up some questions about the convicted murder's possible innocence.

The payphone came into play as a part of the original testimony against jailed convict Adnan Syed, who was charged with the death of his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee

Syed's former friend Jay told the authorities that Syed, now 34, called Jay from a payphone in a Best Buy parking lot to come pick him up after fatally strangling Lee. The existence of said payphone has come into question and some fans are even traveling to the Best Buy location in Windsor Mill, Maryland to check out the parking lot for themselves. 

Best Buy jumped on the massive success of the podcast to do a little self-promotion in light of the hunt for the payphone, but the tweet was quickly met with outrage from many Twitter users. 

"I'm never shopping at your franchise," one person wrote, while others commented on the tweet being "offensive."

The company later deleted the tweet, and released a follow-up apology on Twitter reading, "We deeply apologize for our earlier tweet about Serial. It lacked good judgment and doesn’t reflect the values of our company. We are sorry."

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