Fast food chain Burger King landed in a soup on Monday for a tweet and what can be seen only as ironical because the food giant had originally intended to promote a scholarship for female chefs on International Women’s day. But in doing so, a social media campaign aimed to empower women and promote the culinary scholarship instead faced backlash when their initial tweet came off as ‘sexist’ even though they meant it otherwise. The original tweet by the Burger King, which was later deleted, read “Women belong in the kitchen", received a lot of flak from netizens. Before further posts were added, social media users interpreted the tweet as ‘tone-deaf’, especially when Monday was being celebrated as Women’s day everywhere.
Criticizing the food giant for this, netizens on both twitter and Facebook said that there were much smarter and less-sexist ways to promote their scholarship. Although the tweet has now been deleted, the Faceboook post is still causing a lot of uproar.
Many said that despite their intent being genuine, but there has to be a better way to market the product and also the team should have taken into account how women would react to it.
A Twitter account related to food chain KFC also joined in and said that perhaps Burger King should’ve deleted the tweet, to which the latter defended its stance.
Why would we delete a tweet that’s drawing attention to a huge lack of female representation in our industry, we thought you’d be on board with this as well? We've launched a scholarship to help give more of our female employees the chance to pursue a culinary career.— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) March 8, 2021
After facing severe backlash from it, the original tweet was taken down and Burger King apologized for their tweet.
“We decided to delete the original tweet after our apology. It was brought to our attention that there were abusive comments in the thread and we don’t want to leave the space open for that."
We hear you. We got our initial tweet wrong and we’re sorry. Our aim was to draw attention to the fact that only 20% of professional chefs in UK kitchens are women and to help change that by awarding culinary scholarships. We will do better next time.— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) March 8, 2021
However, the flak is yet to die down and some even pointed out how the food giant had also sent out print advertisements for the same and thus the damage has been done. “Are you rounding up copies of all the print advertisements too? It is simply too late … the train has left the station my friend. How about this, start by creating an environment where people truly understand that this is never okay. This is not a strategy, this is just sad," tweeted one user.
Even though some people felt that maybe netizens shouldn’t have reacted before knowing the entire thing, the consensus was that more people were angry because of the fact that a heavily sexist phrase was used to draw attention to something like this.