Burger King’s “Proud Whopper” Isn’t Anything For Gays To Be Proud Of

This morning my email inbox greeted me with a press release from Burger King proudly declaring the release of the PROUD WHOPPER® Sandwich:

Burger King Worldwide, Inc. is broadcasting a widespread message in support of self-expression with a digital film launching today on Youtube.com/BurgerKing. The film was created at a BURGER KING® restaurant at the heart of the San Francisco Pride Parade route where a limited edition PROUD WHOPPER® Sandwich was added to the menu. Guests who ordered the PROUD WHOPPER® Sandwich were surprised because it is in fact, the same iconic fire-grilled WHOPPER® Sandwich beloved since 1957, but wrapped in rainbow colored paper inscribed with a message reading: “we are all the same inside.”

The press release quoted Fernando Machado, Burger King Corporation Senior Vice President of Global Brand Management, who enthused that:

“BURGER KING® restaurants have always been places to eat great tasting food, let your guard down and just be yourself without any judgment. The film and PROUD WHOPPER® Sandwich are the first of many different opportunities to bring the “BE YOUR WAYSM” global attitude to life in unexpected ways.”

As I wrote in Gays Fight To Enjoy Shitty Fast Food In Good Conscience, Which Is Impossible — a response piece to the call for queers to boycott Chick-Fil-A after its owner said some profoundly shitty things about gay people — eating fast food is inherently not progressive regardless of the company’s positive or negative feelings about the LGBTQ community. Boycotting Chick-Fil-A because their CEO hates gay people is as pointless as supporting Burger King because their CEO packaged some burgers in rainbow-striped paper. It’s still fast food. Which isn’t to say that there’s no excuse to eat fast food — most of us do, at least sometimes. For many people, fast food is the only affordable way to eat anything at all. But when we eat fast food, we do so because it is affordable and convenient and because it is delicious (especially the fries, Burger King has the best fries), not because it makes the world a better place or advances progressive political causes.

I’m not so pure that I can’t appreciate and even commend corporations who embrace or target the LGBTQ community, especially because we often must rely on their advertising dollars to pay our bills. But there’s a difference between a KY Jelly commercial featuring a lesbian couple and Burger King wrapping trash in a gay piece of paper and declaring it groundbreaking or even “supportive.” Plus; unlike, say, Coca-Cola’s bid for the LGBTQ dollar with their inclusive Super Bowl ad that reached a large mixed audience, this “limited edition” Whopper is basically preaching to the choir by only making itself available at San Francisco’s Market Street location. (A location I’m familiar with because it’s one of the only public bathrooms in the area.)

whopper3f-1-web

Machado told USA Today that the Proud Whopper “showcases who we are as a brand” and “shows how we, as a brand, believe in self-expression.” Apparently Burger King was one of many corporate sponsors of this year’s Pride Parade in San Francisco, marking the first time the chain has sponsored a Pride Event in the United States. Apparently Burger King has sponsored Pride Events overseas, however, making it plainly obvious that they’re more interested in jumping in when a thing becomes popular and trendy rather than genuinely blazing any new trails.

This morning the commercial described by the press release as a “digital film” was released. The child near the end of the promotional video was placed there, I think, to make me cry and think about a big bright future for gay families eating inclusive Whoppers, but it made me want to cry for a totally different reason than Burger King wants me to cry. It made me want to cry because kids developing any kind of positive association with a Whopper is really f*cking sad. See for yourself:

The video made me think of Burger King’s 2008 “Whopper Virgin” campaign, which also used “underprivileged” (by colonialist standards) people to push its product, albeit in a far more exploitative fashion than we’re seeing with this. The commercial asked rural Romanian farmers, Thai villagers and residents of Greenland’s icy tundra who’d never had a hamburger before to try a Big Mac and a Whopper and declare a favorite. At the time, Brian Morrissey of Adfreak declared the ads “embarrassing and emblematic of how ignorant Americans still seem to the rest of the world.” “Whopper Virgins” is hardly the company’s only advertising misstep — they’ve also repeatedly peddled in racism and misogyny to sell their products around the world.

Regardless, even the “we are all the same inside” concept itself feels poorly conceived. We shouldn’t have to prove that we’re “all the same inside” in order to obtain equal rights and respect. Instead we should all learn to value that even people who are different from us are worthy of humane treatment. Also, do you really wanna think about what’s inside a Whopper? If one adds fries to that calorically-dense sandwich, one could exceed one’s entire daily allotment of fat and saturated fat in a single sitting while consuming almost nothing of nutritional value!

As I wrote in the Chick-Fil-A piece, what can distinguish queer politics from mainstream politics is that our “outsider” status should enable us to more readily question dominant culture and advocate for disenfranchised and mistreated humans (and animals). The fast food industry is one of the most exploitative industries in the history of the world, and Burger King itself has been the subject of many lawsuits and campaigns for offenses including serving carcinogen-containing grilled chicken, selling beef that contained horse meat and patronizing a dairy farm that tortured its animals.

However, I was surprised to learn that unlike Chick-Fil-A, Burger King has, in response to such controversies and others, become a bit of an industry leader when it comes to seeking out ethical meat suppliers. (The fast food industry’s support of factory farms is one of its most egregious sins.) Under pressure from organizations like PETA, Burger King in 2007 announced that it’d begin phasing in suppliers who did not cage their animals and by 2012 was using 100% cage-free eggs, as well as pledging to eliminate battery cages and gestation crates from its U.S. supply chain. (A move which still raised a lot of questions and doesn’t address problematic environmental practices of its fruit and vegetable suppliers, such as monocropping.) McDonald’s and Wendy’s have since made similar pledges. In 2013, The Humane Society of the United States gave Burger King its “Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award” for “the company’s work to end the extreme confinement of farm animals in small crates and cages.” The Food policy director for The Humane Society proudly declared that “for more than a decade, Burger King has been a leader in improving farm animal welfare by working to eliminate some of the worst factory farming practices from its supply chain.”

That being said, we’re still looking at a deeply troubling system of food distribution, even if Burger King is sourcing mainly from farms with ethical practices and encouraging their current suppliers to change their ways. Any time a corporation of Burger King’s size gets involved with local economies, they gain the power to wield Wal-Mart-esque pressure on its suppliers to keep their prices low, which impacts the economic health of the farmers themselves. (In fact, Wal-Mart’s new organics line already threatens to undermine organic farming’s basic principles and operating practices.) And although Burger King’s support of relatively ethical farming practices is definitely a huge step in the right direction that will inspire major change in the farming industry, it’s still not fixing the underlying issue or the larger systemic problem of Americans’ lack of access to affordable fresh and healthy food. Instead of working collectively to get fresh and healthy food into the hands of ordinary citizens, Burger King is buying it themselves at reduced rates, injecting it with preservatives and chemicals, frying it and selling it back to us in highly caloric nutritionally void Value Meals. Worse still, it’s selling it to children.

There’s one last case to be made for The Proud Whopper, which is that all Proud Whopper sandwich sales will be donated to The Burger King McLamore Foundation for “scholarships benefiting LGBT high school seniors graduating in spring 2015.” (The Foundation website doesn’t indicate that the scholarships benefit LGBT students directly, so it’s unclear how that will play out.) This is undoubtedly a worthy cause. But it does remain unfortunate that Burger King is offering scholarships to underprivileged kids with one hand while aggressively encouraging them to consume unhealthy food produced by an industry that historically exploits poor communities with the other. As the fast food strikes of the past year have drawn attention to, low pay for fast food workers is crippling families and individuals all over the country, most of whom must rely on food stamps to survive even if they’re employed full-time. Undoubtedly, many recipients of McLamore Foundation Scholarships need those scholarships because their parents work at fast food restaurants that don’t pay them enough to start a college fund. Meanwhile, fast food lobbies overwhelmingly support Republican candidates who push favorable legislation forward that enables them to underpay their employees while overpaying CEOs and “gag” activists who attempt to expose mistreatment of animals.really-though

Ultimately, though, the Proud Whopper’s most egregious sin seems to be that it’s really weird and tacky, like something your well-intentioned Mom might pick up at Odd Lots to show you that she supports your “lifestyle.” Perhaps in the future, Burger King could better serve the LGBTQ community by paying its workers a living wage rather than providing a small portion of customers with a large onion-scented paper rainbow covered in ketchup. Just an idea.

Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1782 articles for us.

58 Comments

  1. Thumb up 40

    Please log in to vote

    “Perhaps in the future, Burger King could better serve the LGBTQ community by paying its workers a living wage rather than providing a small portion of customers with a large onion-scented paper rainbow covered in ketchup. Just an idea.”

    Yes. Thank you. Good work. Amen.

  2. Thumb up 37

    Please log in to vote

    I had a real problem with the “we’re all the same inside” message, because I think my experience as a lesbian does make me somehow, fundamentally, “different” inside than a straight woman.

    Between “we’re all the same inside” and “born this way,” I feel like the movement has lost a lot of radicalism from “we’re here, we’re queer, get over it!” It just seems … apologetic. “I can’t help it, I’m just like you, please be nice to me?” might have it’s political uses, but I think we should strive for more than conformity and a market segment.

    • Thumb up 3

      Please log in to vote

      I think there’s a place for both sorts of mindsets/strategies. Maybe its just my femme, but although I’m not much into apologetics per se (no patience for overt/covert/unconscious bigotry) I actually like the idea that being gay doesn’t have to be such a diff-er-ent, wild-n-crazy type thing.It can just be life.You can get married have children go to church all that “normative” stuff. I like that that is becoming an option. I understand though not wanting to lose perspective though and get lazy (*like the womens movement kinda did*). We still have a ways to go.

  3. Thumb up 12

    Please log in to vote

    I’m glad you wrote about this. I went to the San Francisco pride parade and saw Burger King’s “float.”

    What I saw:

    A white van with no label on it, just totally white.

    Duct taped to the side was a white shirt with a Rainbow burger printed on it, Again, no “Burger King” branding was visible. Also the shirt was almost falling off the van. It looked really pathetic.

    Walking with the van were several people handing out the famous Burger King paper crowns, which were rainbow colored. The only way I identified this was a Burger King float was that I recognized the crown shape. There was a tiny label on them that read “Burger King”

    My reaction was that one of two things was happening:

    1)Burger King didn’t sanction this float and the employees took it upon themselves to participate, meaning they weren’t allowed to use the brand logo.

    2)Burger King is trying to sit on both sides of the fence: saying they participated in Gay Pride, but at the same time staying under the radar, not having any branding visible within the parade.

    Do you think I’m missing something here? I was genuinely confused by the paltry sight stuck between other outlandish floats.

    • Thumb up 5

      Please log in to vote

      okay that is AMAZING. i wish it was “1”.

      honestly the timing of the whole thing strikes me as quite odd, too! like something wasn’t entirely organized properly which wouldn’t be a huge surprise — like the press release didn’t go out until today, even though the proud whopper started selling on the 28th and i think is only gonna exist for a few more days?

      so i think either it’s “2” that you suggested or:

      1) they didn’t want to ruin the “surprise” factor they needed for making that video

      2) they just didn’t have their shit together in time for the parade, a feeling i can wholly relate to from any time we’ve done a pride parade (a thing that’s easy to forget that i am reminded of often when we’ve worked with corporations is that most of the people on these smaller initiatives are just human beings like the rest of us.)

      3) they didn’t want to invest in a pride float or pay the extra fee you have to pay to have a real float in the parade. sometimes even these huge companies with monster revenues will go to an LGBTQ agency and be like okay we want to target every single gay person in the universe with video viral marketing and a street team for $10k get me your proposal asap. and they’re like what

  4. Thumb up 11

    Please log in to vote

    BTW the super special rainbow crowns they gave away to go along with the burger during Pride are friggin’ EVERYWHERE! I walked past a few on my way to work this morning. Besides being trash for your body, they’ve produced a lovely pile of trash for the city.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      Yea they should have put gps trackers in them so that they could make sure the next day that they either all went home with the people they handed them out to or else send out crews to clean them all up.

      I saw a McDonald’s cup on the side of the road. SHAME ON MCDONALD’S!

  5. Thumb up 16

    Please log in to vote

    Nope.
    1. I don’t want to be considered the same inside as everyone else, I like being weird and unique and different.
    2. Really tacky and gimmicky, no thank you.
    3. Everyone in that video seemed really stoned and/or drunk.

  6. Thumb up 12

    Please log in to vote

    “Ultimately, though, the Proud Whopper’s most egregious sin seems to be that it’s really weird and tacky, like something your well-intentioned Mom might pick up at Odd Lots to show you that she supports your ‘lifestyle.’ ”

    Oh how I relate to this… when I was younger, before I transitioned, my mom tended to give me ‘guy’ stuff for christmas that obviously had no interest in whatsoever… these days, she gives me makeup kits and stuff like that, most of which I’ve hardly even opened.

    She’s trying, bless her heart.

  7. Thumb up 13

    Please log in to vote

    I don’t know, I might sort of be on the other side of this one. Chic-fil-a, barilla, both have been nastily homophibic. I’m happy burger king seems to be at least trying. I remain optimistic. I adore getting the tacky ‘I accept you’ treats from my parents! Some aren’t even that bad! The picture/art thing with a Tennessee Williams quote on it, pins with Rimbaud on it, (“you look like him”, dad said gruffly) and others. I love seeing ‘I accept you’ treats, anywhere. You know those times you see Elvis? Like seeing one of his movies as you flick the channels, or seeing someone with their hair slicked back like that. It’s like that to me, rare, but makes my heart dance.

  8. Thumb up 15

    Please log in to vote

    To build on what’s already been said Burger King is and has been an enthusiastic employer of prison labor. Considering the high rates of criminalization for trans women and queer people of color, do we really want to eat a product made by the exploitation of our communities just cause of a paltry name and corny ad campaign? What we need as a community to do is unequivocally and vehemently oppose anything of this sort. What allows it to happen isn’t the minority of our community that get behind it, but the silent majority that feel uncomfortable but do or say nothing.

    • Thumb up 11

      Please log in to vote

      Thanks for the info, Emma. I don’t live in the US and I didn’t know that.

      It makes me really sad that queer community is very ahistorical, as in, you’re usually not born into a long line of gay and trans elders who tell you how it’s done and what’s been done.

      It’s sad that with campaigns like these, a very young queer person could genuinely believe that the world is getting warmer and more accepting, and that the fate of their community members is improving. Rather than, you know, imprisoned and exploited by stores near you.

  9. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    “But there’s a difference between a KY Jelly commercial featuring a lesbian couple and Burger King wrapping trash in a gay piece of paper and declaring it groundbreaking or even ‘supportive.'”

    ^The “wrapping trash in a gay piece of paper” made me LOL. But independently of being funny it’s also a smart line in a nuanced piece. Yeah, the best thing to do is to not eat fast food at all but that’s not an option for everyone. If it were just the rainbow crepe paper I’d be way more cynical, too, but the fact that they are also donating to the LGBTQ youth org is more of a saving grace. Neutral on the rainbows part haha.

    • Thumb up 11

      Please log in to vote

      The thing is that Burger King could give *fucktons* of money to a gay youth org any day if they wanted to.

      No, they’re giving ‘our’ money to it, which is insanely cynical. For what will be just a small trickle of money for a poor queer youth.

  10. Thumb up 8

    Please log in to vote

    Maybe I’ve reached my capacity to be outraged, but I don’t really have a problem with this.

    Perhaps it’s because I live in a town/city where I long to see a rainbow displayed somewhere…. Anywhere?!

    Oh to be acknowledged in mainstream advertising. What a luxury. I think in certain parts of the world, people forget that in most places there’s only LGBT invisibility. I live in a socially (legally) accepting Nation, but it’s doubtful we’d see this.

    Sure, it’s cynical marketing by a corporate that (if we dig deep enough) we will most likely find some unethical business practices… but what’s new? I can’t get mad about seeing a pretty rainbow wrapper.

    Weirdly, the “We’re all the same inside” slogan didn’t bother me either… It’s a simple message geared towards children and philistines. NAILED IT! ;-)

    My favourite part was when the young woman realised her friend had GOT the meaning. You’d have thought they’d both just cracked the Da Vinci code. Bless.

    • Thumb up 7

      Please log in to vote

      I think it’s great when corporations buy advertising from LGBT media, or otherwise spend money in order to appeal to them. But this isn’t that — this is just literally repackaging a project they already intended to sell in gay wrapping paper, making a low-budget video about it, and then declaring themselves allies. They didn’t even buy a float for the parade! Like very little of BK’s money was actually invested in the gay community. The reach was super-limited too, and like isn’t accessing the kids you mention who could be impacted by seeing something like this.

      That being said, if I’m being really honest I don’t think there’s any context in which I can be on board with a Whopper delivering good news about self-acceptance. Might not be practical but that’s me

      • Thumb up 1

        Please log in to vote

        You’re probably right.. Especially on point about fast food pushing self-acceptance. This calls to mind something fb friend Marcie Bianco once said about our culture replacing sex with food. :-)

        Keep in mind that my judgement is likely clouded by the amazing vege burger I had last night. I’m still thinking about it.

        Thanks Burger Fuel, Lower Hutt, New Zealand :P

      • Thumb up 0

        Please log in to vote

        Make a float for the parade: Reach a very limited audience who are already aware of and fully supportive of your message (the GLBTQ community themselves). Receive GLBTQ praise.

        Release a video on the internet with a public message of support: Reach “super limited” ??? Receive GLBTQ disdain ???

        That being said, if I’m being really honest, I don’t think there’s any context in which I can be on board with you being intelligent.

        • Thumb up 5

          Please log in to vote

          I will seriously never understand how people so quickly jump to “I HATE YOU AND YOU’RE AWFUL” in their comments on posts/articles that actually make a sincere attempt to look at an issue from multiple angles. Or, like, at all – because guess what, it makes you look like the ass, even if you may have had a great point/argument to make. No one is helped by this, and usually someone is hurt, so why do it?!

    • Thumb up 2

      Please log in to vote

      Yeah, from an intellectual perspective I totally understand her points. There’s nothing she said that I can seriously refute or disagree with and yet…meh. My outrage meter barely spikes above zero on this one. I thought the Proud Whopper was kind of cute.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      I feel similarly to you, Xanadu. I live in a very red (Conservative) part of a very red state in the US, and I can’t see any businesses around here making any sort of pro-LGBTQ gesture, even a gimmicky one like Burger King’s. Instead, we tend to get the opposite.

  11. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    I’m probably going to eat a Whopper tomorrow for lunch because now I’m craving one. Almost everyone in my family has worked in fast food at one point, including myself. Two of my Aunts, one of which is also gay, were general managers McDonalds. Even my Grandmother was a waitress.

    To be honest, I don’t think there’s a problem with low wages jobs existing. For me, it was just a shitty job primarily because if people aren’t treating you like you’re subhuman, then they’re pitying you. Money doesn’t give you dignity. But some jobs are meant to be a stepping stone, a rung in the meritocratic ladder. That the next rung has become so far out of reach for people is the larger problem.

  12. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    TIL you can preach a message of anti-discrimination by being discriminatory.

    News flash: You’re a hypocrite.

    Your core ideology is that equality should be afforded to all, regardless of race, gender, orientation, lifestyle, etc.

    Unless they’re into fast food. Because fuck those guys, they’re fat and they sell or eat shit that’s bad for you.

    Your ultimate goal is for your message of equality to be embraced by all, 100%. Having a company like Burger King support you is great. Having them support you publicly is great. What would you have them do, because you don’t like a fast food chain publicly supporting you? Support you from the shadows, because you don’t support them the same way they support you (including free use of their bathrooms… LOL)?

    If a company sells burgers, good for them. That’s their choice. If people want to buy their burgers, good for them. That’s also their choice, a part of their lifestyle. You don’t get to berate that company and, in turn, their customers for their lifestyles while at the same time preaching an anti-discrimination message.

    You went full retard.

    • Thumb up 21

      Please log in to vote

      thank you so much for explaining discrimination to me! i didn’t realize that it functioned in the way you describe in your comment, and honestly I am horrified to learn that i am discriminating not only against just about every person I know but also against myself because i’ve too been known to consume fast food and even fast food burgers. when i stopped at mcdonalds on the road last week that was obviously an act of self-loathing, i don’t know how i didn’t catch it at the time. i mean i, like most people, have been an employee of multiple corporate food service chains and am the daughter/cousin/niece/friend/ex of many current or former fast food employees, so clearly i have a lot to reckon with tonight.

      i kinda thought my job as a writer was to analyze and explicate larger systems that benefit an elite few while oppressing massive numbers of people, but now i realize that that’s just plain ‘ol discrimination. i guess i should go back and change all the times we negatively reviewed movies because i don’t want anyone to think we are discriminating against people who like movies. actually i should probably just take the entire website down!! THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY LIFE, BRO

  13. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    I was just saying on Twitter that queer rights were more than just marriage and included healthcare, immigration, gender ID, fighting the prison industrial complex etc. When I refreshed my TL the very next thing in it was a sponsored ad for the rainbow whopper…*logs off Twitter*

  14. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    I am over this corporate dabbling in the community to corner a market stuff. I also have a problem with the HRC rating system . . . does not matter what they pay or who they exploit in other countries.
    Have any of you seen the Robbin’s Brothers ad that says “Celebrating all couples” above a picture of a gorilla holding a parakeet ? Nothing like drawing similarities between same sex couples and cross species couples. Clearly corporate America has discovered we have dollars and we should responsibly spend them.

  15. Thumb up 8

    Please log in to vote

    (Oops, placed my reply in a nested comment up there! Sorries!)
    (AND I DID IT AGAIN – APPARENTLY I AM NOT ABLE TO INTERNET TODAY – Wish I COULD erase the duplicates. Eek)

    The entire we are all the same inside thing just bugs me. It’s a rhetoric based on the idea that to feel empathy or understanding for another person we have to find something of ourselves in them.

    Not my thing. How about we celebrate our difference.

    Think about how much BETTER that rainbow wrapped cholesterol bomb would be if it said
    “We are ALL different inside.” It begs that we accept and care for each other BECAUSE we are different, not in SPITE of it.

    Also, fuck capitalist buy-in’s to a growing market. LGBT mainstream keeps this up, and it’ll be the Black Irish all over again, if it isn’t already.

  16. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    I wish journalist would stop spreading the idea that gays boycotted Chic-fil-a because their CEO said something about gays.

    This is not true.

    Chic-fil-a was giving money to groups that were promoting the KILLING OF GAY AFRICANS!

    Jesus. If this isn’t evidence that White Western feelings are above African lives, Idk what is…

  17. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    When I first saw the video it made me happy because another large company was on board with Pride. It was helpful to read this article to get the other side of it. Don’t know how I feel about it now, but at least I feel informed.

  18. Thumb up 7

    Please log in to vote

    This article made me so sad – on point. I, too, come from a rural town without a rainbow in sight. Once my mom (former mayor) put up German flags to welcome the exchange students to our town and people called her a socialist in the papers. Can’t imagine what they would have said about rainbows. But if the local Taco Bell had suddenly started selling a limited time rainbow-wrapped chalupa, it’s not like as a young depressed high schooler I would have bought it and been like, “wow! that’s me!” My savior was the internet, gay girl gamers forums and torrents of the L Word. Not some vague corporate advertising.

  19. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Yeah here’s the thing, you can’t eat fast food ethically but some fast food is more ethical than others so if you have a choice between one environmentally destroying chain and one environmentally destroying chain that also actively participates in anti-lgbt measures then obviously the choice is for the former. That’s like the stupid argument I keep seeing on tumblr, where because ethical consumerism is beyond many peoples price ranges and we shouldn’t have to pay more for ethical coffee you have a moral duty to buy the slave labour produced cheaper stuff instead. Only all doing that will do is tell producers that we want cheap and don’t care about production. Even if you can’t do something entirely ethically the most ethical option or more ethical option usually exists and should be taken if you can.

  20. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    This article was so good! It’s super important to recognize that buying corporate stuff to a company that is most likely just tokenly “supporting” the queer community through a capitalistic venture, is simply not real support, and really doesn’t have good intensions. Donating to a queer and trans group would be a good way to viscerally support the community, but even then I kinda get suspicious of their intensions, due to it potentially being insincere, though it is a better alternative to tokenization. Also, the fact that many people in the lower income bracket rely on fast food, and it seems manipulative to tokenly “support” whilst taking their money away. I do sometimes get emotional when seeing representation in mainstream commericals, but I do recognize that that is not actually helping specific causes, if the profits aren’t actually going to queer and trans causes.

  21. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Personally, I think a lot of people are being entirely ungrateful in this situation. Sure, they went about showing their support in a way that you wouldn’t exactly hope for, but they were showing their support. This article and all of the comments sound to me like someone who got a Christmas gift (I don’t know, shoes or something) and then looked at the gifter with disgust and pointed and shamed them for not getting the exact color or style they wanted. He tried, but he’s a guy… what do you expect? After all the stink about Barilla and Chik-Fil-A you would think people would be more appreciative of someone at least trying, rather than publicly shaming them for not doing exactly what you wanted them to, which apparently was to die. “Oh, gee, thanks for the stupid gift. Please go kill yourself now kthankxbai.”

    Thank you Burger King, at least for the thought.

  22. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    To be blunt, I believe this article gets it wrong. It’s surprising and disappointing to see the author would meet a gesture of good will like this by spitting squarely in its face. The ugliness of capitalism and LGBT rights are not related issues, and it blows my mind a little bit that you would take a small gesture of corporate solidarity as an excuse to attack the whole concept of fast food. Burger King is trying to assist with a major social paradigm shift on a specific issue of social justice that many are still unwilling to accept. That is commendable, no matter how tacky. If you want to rail against an economy that is based in part on resource exploitation, go ahead, have at it, big businesses need to work on that. But change does not happen overnight, and it’s ludicrous to imply that because a corporation does one thing wrong they can never do anything right and so deserve scorn if ever they try. Go after unethical farming practices all you want, but I think such an argument would make a lot more sense to write that as its own piece, not lumped in with this initiative. Just my opinion.

  23. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    It has always surprised me (I need to stop that) that an simple but effective idea can be pulled apart, over analysed and then changed into something it never intended to be. Why can’t the author of this article stop looking for something to write about and write about something worthwhile and positive. They spend way too many words on saying they don’t like the ad cause they think it is phoney and doesn’t help. Personally and simply in my own opinion, I think the ad is easy to watch and sends a message that being gay no longer has the terrible stigma attached to it it use to have. Simple. It has nothing to do with the food cause I don’t like fast food either but they need to let the message stand alone and for what it is. “We are all the same inside”. Don’t look for the dollar sign even though that may have been the push for the ad but instead just clear the overly stimulated mind (probably from all that fast food) and look at the message. Reminding people that it is okay to be proud of yourself is amazing and I would take my grandchildren to BK at least once just to buy a burger with the wrapper. What a great way to start a dialogue with them.

  24. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    I think the idea that a corporation can never have what you would consider good intentions but can have what the right and anti-gay lobby would consider good intentions (i.e. supporting anti-gay initiatives because the people in charge wholeheartedly believe in them) is fairly blind. Either its intentions are always purely profit with no other goals or it can have profit + “good” or “bad” intentions.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.