Chic-fil-A is not chickening out of embracing their new political image. After recently donating millions of dollars in support of anti-gay groups and causes, their CEO and president Dan Kathy made the following statement:
Well guilty as charged…. We are very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.
No matter how you pepper your statement to read as a pro-family stance, society, propelled by the media’s play of devil’s advocate, quickly labeled the chain as “anti-gay.” The surprise came when Chic-fil-A adopted a radical PR tactic: to embrace that image.
I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.
The chicken chain’s religious backbone has never been much of a secret. Due to a Baptist background, no Chic-fil-A restaurant opens or operates on Sundays. But this most recent stance has spurred quite a controversial outcome, filled with backlash and boycotts.
Twitter immediately heated up as popular users, such as celebrity Ed Helms, typed their own reactions:
Chick-Fil-A doesn’t like gay people? So lame. Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan.
As any proficient PR team would, a statement was quickly crafted for President Kathy to respond strategically, if not apologetically.
We have a whole spectrum of team members that work with us who are part of the gay and lesbian community. They know as employees of Chick-fil-A that they are welcomed, they are embraced, and they are part of the Chick-fil-A family. So to be identified with some sort of hate group that has a political agenda — that is not Chick-fil-A at all.
Perhaps if more fast food chains make controversial political statements, the younger generation may boycott themselves right into a healthier diet.