It’s March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day, and the Brands are at it again. Refusing to bypass this opportunity to promote their hamburgers—which we previously just sort of assumed were women-friendly—Burger King UK decided to mark the occasion by tweeting the words “Women belong in the kitchen.”
Now, in case you, like us, were foolish enough to assume that a fast food restaurant was simply tweeting out lazy misogyny to get a rise out of people on International Women’s Day, you’d be sort of, kind of mistaken. The brain geniuses behind the account were actually using that first statement as a a way to make you click on a subsequent message that reads, “If they want to, of course.”
The account elaborates a bit further, throws an #IWD hashtag on its post, then concludes by announcing that Burger King has set up a scholarship program to “help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams!”
This bait-and-switch approach has probably done wonders for the account’s engagement, but it’s also generated a lot of backlash—backlash that the person managing the Twitter has decided to deal with by responding to lots and lots of angry people with self-satisfied retorts. When told it “[belongs] in the trash,” Burger King UK replied, “What belongs in the trash is lack of female representation in our industry, that’s why we’ve created a scholarship to do something about it.” When a reply said it was weird that these tweets managed to clear the company’s management, stalwart Burger King UK responded, “We think it’s weird that women make up only 20% of chefs in the UK restaurant industry” and plugged its scholarship again. Surrounded by enemies now—including, of course, KFC Gaming—the account managers continue to sweatily defend the campaign by elaborating on a “thought process” that even they themselves puts quotation marks around.
Burger King’s tweet arrived in the early morning hours of International Women’s Day for North Americans, which means that there’s still plenty of time for more of this kind of shit to happen before the day is out. This is important to note because Burger King hasn’t traditionally been the worst offender in the rogue’s gallery of terrible Online Brands. There are still so many hours left before we’ll be able to say with certainty that Burger King wears the crown for this year’s worst Women’s Day brand tweets. But, given that the company is so proud of its “women belong in the kitchen” line that it’s taken out a full-page ad featuring the sentence in the New York Times, any pretenders to the title are going to have to have something pretty stunning prepared if they want to come at the King.
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