Burger King has been accused of trying to take advantage of Pride Month and attack its rival Chick-fil-A with an “insincere” promise to donate a fraction of the sales of its new chicken sandwich to the pro-LGBTQ human rights campaign.
The fast food brand announced the move on Twitter last week, writing: “The #ChKing says LGBTQ+ rights! during #pride-month (even on sundays) you can do a craving for a chicken sandwich! we make a donation* to @HRC for every Ch’King sold.’
Twitter users took to the announcement, criticizing Burger King for its not-so-veiled shot at Chick-fil-A, which is closed on Sundays for religious reasons and whose owner has a history of donating to anti-LGBTQ groups.
Critics also denounced the plan as a selfish ploy for Burger King to gain ground in the so-called chicken sandwich wars.
They noted that while the pledge to give 40 cents per chicken sandwich sold through June 30 seems generous on the face of it — the $250,000 maximum donation is just a drop in the ocean of Burger King’s $1 annual turnover. 6 billion.
Burger King has been accused of trying to take advantage of Pride Month and attack its rival Chick-fil-A with an “insincere” promise to donate a fraction of the sales of its new chicken sandwich to the pro-LGBTQ human rights campaign
Burger King pledges to contribute to the Human Rights Campaign this month
“Reminder: Burger King is doing this because they get write-offs for tax evasion charities, not because they care about what happens to us in the queer community,” one user tweeted Tuesday.
Some people also yelled at Burger King for doing this promotion only during Pride Month.
“Great for you, but it would be nice if you didn’t put a limit on it or only donate in the month of the year when every company cares about LGBTQ+,” one user donated.
Other people commented that a 40 cent donation on sandwiches costing between four and five dollars isn’t much, especially with a $250,000 cap and high profits for the fast food company.
“That’s great, but @BurgerKing made 1.6 BILLION profits in 2020. They can afford more than 40¢. How about an even 50¢ and then $1 to pay employees a living wage?’
SFGate notes that the CEO of Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, is worth at least $37.3 million.
In addition, the average hourly wage of a Burger King employee hovers around nine dollars.
Some also noted the financial implications of Burger King’s donations
However, some wondered why Burger King didn’t donate to HRC until June
In a statement to USA today, a Burger King spokesperson said: “This is a community we love dearly and have proudly supported over the years, so we couldn’t miss an opportunity to take action and shine a light on the important conversation that takes place.’
According to the HRC’s website, “The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear and with equality before the law.”
Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy has made scornful comments about same-sex marriage
The shot at Chick-fil-A was relatively obvious, as Burger King specifically noted that Sunday sales would count. Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays due to founder Truett Cathy’s Christian faith.
Chick-fil-A has a known history of donating to anti-LGBTQ groups.
They announced in 2019 that they would stop donating to these groups.
This week however The everyday beast reported that current Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy is among those donating to the National Christian Charitable Foundation (NCF).
That organization, in turn, funds efforts to defeat the Equality Act, legislation that would create discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders are illegal in most environments.
Dan Cathy has said before that same-sex marriage could bring God’s wrath upon the country.
Another element in the controversy is a lawsuit that Burger King is embroiled in an alleged anti-LGBTQ incident at one of their locations.
In October 2018, a gay man and transgender woman alleged that a South Beach Burger King employee used a gay bouncer before being sprayed with pepper spray by a security guard.
In a lawsuit, Raymond Ortega and Toni Lleren said they were called “f*****gf*****s” by a store employee, according to Miami New Times.
Ortega says he complained to a security guard about the employee, which led to the pepper spray.
The February 2019 lawsuit alleges negligence by Burger King, as well as battery by the security guard. Ortega said he suffered a broken jaw and ear while making about $14,000 in medical bills.
Burger King has defended itself, claiming that the incident did not reach the level of a hate crime and that it was “an unfortunate incident … an incident caused by Mr. Ortega.”
Burger King’s New ‘Ch’King’ Chicken Sandwich Comes Out in May
DailyMail.com has reached out to the attorney representing Ortega and Lleren for an update on the lawsuit.
Many users did comment that every donation counted and that Burger King seemed to have their heart in the right place.
“I have to say that this is a corporate Pride event that doesn’t feel cynical or half-hearted. We don’t need corporate rainbow merchandise. We need real business allies. Thanks,” one user tweeted.