Z-Burger apologizes for using image of slain journalist James Foley in tweet to bash competitors

An undated, file photo of Z-Burger in Tenleytown.

(FOX 5/FOX NEWS) – Z-Burger has apologized after its social media account used a meme of slain journalist James Foley to bash its competitors.

The District-based chain reportedly tweeted the image of James Foley, an American journalist who was kidnapped and executed by ISIS in 2014, over the weekend.

“When you say you want a burger and someone says okay let’s hit McDonald's,” the since-deleted tweet said, with an image of Foley attached that said, “You disgrace me.”

Peter Tabibian, the owner of Z-Burger, has apologized and said the tweet was the result of a contracted marketing company and was not approved by him prior to being published.

The contracted marketing company, North Carolina-based Valor Media, has apologized and stressed in a series of videos that Z-Burger should not be held accountable for the controversial tweet.

Michael Valor, the group’s 23-year-old president and founder, also said he would make a donation to the James W. Foley Foundation.

James Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, tweeted the following statement from the foundation’s official Twitter account: “I am very saddened that @Zburger would be so insensitive and ignorant of others’ pain while marketing their hamburger. I look forward to hearing an apology from Peter Tabibian and Michael Valor and their promised donation to the foundation #inspiring moral courage.”