On today's episode of expensive PR teams spectacularly fumbling even the most basic attempts at hashtag activism, Burger King UK celebrated International Women's Day, a holiday centered around recognizing the sexist plight of women and girls around the globe, by using their platform of more than 73,000 followers to share the inspiring Girl Power message every woman hopes to hear on this important day -- "women belong in the kitchen."
On Monday, the fast-food chain truly had it their way when celebrating the annual holiday, using the boring, antiquated "joke" typically reserved for Midwestern middle school boys who watch a little too much Family Guy as a standalone grabber to launch a timely message about around gender equality in the food industry.
"If they want to, of course," the company replied in an immediate follow-up to the (literally) offending post. "Yet only 20% of chefs are women. We're on a mission to change the gender ratio in the restaurant industry by empowering female employees with the opportunity to pursue a culinary career," they wrote before announcing a scholarship program aimed at helping "female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams!"
Although it seems their initial quip was intended to be some kind of joke, several Twitter users saw the bait as no laughing matter, calling out the company for using their platform to share sexist remarks, even in jest ...
... how groups associated with the far-right have utilized the tweet ...
... and noting that Burger King's parent company, Restaurant Brands International only has one woman on their 12-person board of directors. Ouch.
Despite this backlash, Burger King seems to have doubled down on their cringe-worthy joke, attempting to clap back at a concerned Twitter user who correctly identified the original post as "weird," questioning who, exactly approved this alarming campaign.
"We think it's weird that women make up only 20% of chefs in the UK restaurant industry," they replied. "That's why we’ve created a scholarship to help give more of our female employees the chance to pursue a culinary career." Fast food Twitter, folks!
So with International Women's Day is upon us, why take the time to learn about powerful women doing important social justice work, donate to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the longtime "Charity of Choice" for International Women's Day, or send positive messages to the women in your life when you can use harmful stereotypes as clickbait! After all, nothing says feminism quite like a large Twitter account using their platform to make an antiquated, sexist joke! #GirlPower.