Burger King is taking aim at Chick-fil-A’s history of anti-LGBTQ donations by launching a fried chicken sandwich of their own and donating to an LGBTQ cause this month, stressing that they’ll donate “even on Sundays” just as Chick-fil-A’s giving is back in the headlines.
Last week, Burger King launched the Ch’King sandwich, which is “hand-breaded chicken filet, pickles and a signature sauce served on a potato bun.”
If that sounds familiar, it’s because Chick-fil-A’s signature sandwich is, according to their website, chicken that’s “freshly breaded, pressure cooked in 100% refined peanut oil and served on a toasted, buttered bun with dill pickle chips.”
That’s not all. Chick-fil-A came under renewed criticism for their co-owner Dan Cathy’s donations to anti-LGBTQ causes in what The Daily Beast called “the most sophisticated dark money operations” in the U.S. to push back on LGBTQ equality by keeping the Equality Act from passing, getting state legislatures to pass anti-trans legislation, and filing lawsuits to greatly expand religious exemptions to anti-discrimination law.
So it’s not hard for people to imagine that there was a subtext to Burger King’s tweet that said, “The #ChKing says LGBTQ+ rights!” in a June 4 tweet, three days after The Daily Beast article was published.
“During #pride month (even on Sundays) your chicken sandwich craving can do good!” they wrote, referring to how the Christian fast food chain Chick-fil-A closes on Sundays. They wrote that they will be donating 40 cents to the LGBTQ organization HRC this month for every Ch’King sandwich sold, with a maximum donation of $250,000.
*6/3-6/30 with every Ch'King sold, BK will contribute 40₵ to the Human Rights Campaign (Max. donation $250k)
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) June 4, 2021
Responses on Twitter showed that people saw what was happening.
The SHADE 💜 If the sandwich is half as spicy as this tweet… pic.twitter.com/NsFYSc1C0s
— Reia🔆Sunshine (@warmsunsh1ne) June 4, 2021
Bk throwing some much needed shade. I normally order a whopper but i think ill be trying the chicken sandwich this month. No homophobia chicken here 🏳️🌈
— That Damn 🏳️🌈Queer🏳️🌈 Cat (@ShallotCog) June 4, 2021
"even on Sundays" burger king who are you calling out here?
— CRANË (@coolish_crane) June 4, 2021
Better donation than @ChickfilA and Dan Cathy make to groups actively trying to destroy the lives of the LGBT+ community. Plus those BK chicken sammiches are friggen delicious!
— SyxxFtH8 (@SyxxFtH8) June 4, 2021
In 2012, the Chick-fil-A Foundation was caught donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations that opposed marriage equality and promoted conversion therapy.
Cathy said that the company was “guilty as charged” because they want to promote “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Chick-fil-A later walked back that support and said that they would stop funding organizations with “political agendas.”
In 2014, Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy died and left his company to his sons Dan and Bubba. Today, Dan Cathy has an estimated net worth of over $8 billion from selling chicken sandwiches, and the Cathy family is believed to be the 15th wealthiest family dynasty in the U.S.
In 2019, the Chick-fil-A Foundation was caught once again donating to anti-LGBTQ groups and promised to stop, eliciting jeers from Evangelical leaders. Later that year, their 2018 IRS filings were made public and showed more donations to anti-LGBTQ groups, but the company said that those were just old commitments.
While no new donations from the Chick-fil-A Foundation have been uncovered, a report earlier this month pointed out Cathy’s personal donations to the National Christian Charitable Foundation (NCF), the sixth largest charity in the U.S.
NCF has donated to the anti-LGBTQ organizations Heritage Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The latter is an SPLC designated hate group and is believed to be partly behind the onslaught of the anti-transgender bills that have been introduced in dozens of states this year and passed in several.
Burger King is playing innocent about the perceived attack on Chick-fil-A.
“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 help shine a light on the important conversation happening,” the company said in a statement.