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Controversial billboard in Forsyth County replaced with new message

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In an apparent rebuttal of the criticism of a previous sign, a new billboard has taken its place off Business 40 near the Linville Road exit. (Bruce Chapman/Winston Salem Journal)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A billboard that raised eyebrows was replaced Saturday by one that has some people scratching their heads, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The new 39-word sign, just off Business 40 near the Linville Road exit, reads: “Much Ado About Nothing. A social experiment that brought forth those so immersed in their own insecurity that in the mirror they could only see an angry victim of their incorrect interpretation of a silly billboard — Bless their hearts.”

“Who’s going to have to time to read that when they’re zooming along?” said Molly Grace, who pulled over to read the sign’s tiny print. “Maybe they’ll just catch the first bit and think Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ play is coming to town.”

But, despite the wordiness, the intent is clear, she said. The sign takes another stab at reinforcing sexism and mocking those who took offense to the original message, she added.

The controversial billboard, posted anonymously in February, originally declared: “Real men provide. Real women appreciate it.”

The billboard belongs to Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising, and owner Bill Whiteheart said the organization that bought the space does not wish to be identified.

The group has leased the space for 30 days but could stay there longer if they choose to renew.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal