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10/15/2008

The secret sauce thickens

by Jeremy Hooper

200810151244-1Did McDonald's sell out the gays like the American Family Association has claimed, or is the AFA once again taking credit for a non-victory? That has been the question on many of our lips over the past week or so. Unfortunately, Mickey D's is not being so straight with the non-straight folks who have been defending them since the boycott began in July!

This from Signorile:

When our producer David Guggenheim contacted [McDonald's] for a statement yesterday before show time -- in particular, what we wanted was a clarification of the specifics of the AFA's press release saying that McDonald's wouldn't follow a "homosexual agenda" as defined by the AFA -- we were told that a statement was forthcoming. Late in the day McDonald's sent a vague statement that didn't mention the words gay and lesbian (except for referring by name to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce), and still didn't clarify their position:

"As we've said all along, McDonald's stands by and supports our people. Diversity and inclusion are integral components of our brand and our heritage.

We continue to have strong employee networks throughout our company and will continue to align our brand with individuals and organizations that share our belief in supporting our people and the communities we serve.

Regarding Richard Ellis, he made a personal decision to step down from the Board of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce after he accepted a new position earlier this year with McDonald's Restaurants of Canada, Limited.

At McDonald's, we continue to value and respect everyone."

We wrote back again, specifically asking about the AFA's press release which contained a quote they said came from a McDonald's memo sent to franchisee's and which various media reported as a McDonald's memo:

"It is our policy to not be involved in political and social issues. McDonald's remains neutral on same-sex marriage or any 'homosexual agenda' as defined by the American Family Association," the memo said.

The response back from McDonald's p.r. firm regarding that quote?

McDonald's will neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the "e-mail to McDonald's franchised owners" referred to in the release.

Not good at all.
McDonalds: We "Will Neither Confirm Nor Deny" [Signorile]

Consume at your own risk. We just hope we're not gonna end up with Egg McMuffin on our face for wasting so much time defending these Golden Arches!

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Your thoughts

I'd recommend trying their social responsibility blog, called "Open for Discussion" (csr dot blogs dot mcdonalds dot com). We'll see how true that name is. I posted a response to the most recent post and await approval.

We'll see if that gets any better response than official channels have.

Posted by: Matt Algren | Oct 15, 2008 2:36:06 PM

I used to go to McDonalds regularly due to the AFA boycott, but since they sort of capitulated to the AFA, I would rather spend money at a small business or a major corporation with a good HRC score or good history in the LGBT community.

I may not eat at McDonalds weekly anymore, but since they capitulated it may be like quarterly at best.

Posted by: Matt from Ontario | Oct 15, 2008 2:50:53 PM

They totally caved. When this boycott first started, some honcho at McDonalds stood up and said the people who disliked equality for gay people were hateful. So they were totally on board with what Ellis was doing. Now all of a sudden, the story is that Ellis was doing something privately and that McDonalds wasn't sponsoring him and they can't fill a spot that doesn't belong to them.

Suck it McDs. I'm going to BK.

Posted by: stojef | Oct 15, 2008 4:42:38 PM

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