Burger King Backlash

Burger King is under fire for tweeting a sexist remark on International Womens Day.

Burger King

Burger King is under fire for tweeting a sexist remark on International Women’s Day.

Kayden Mandley, Photojournalist

On Monday, March 8th, which also happened to be International Women’s Day, Burger King UK attempted to point out the gender imbalance within the cooking and restaurant industry by tweeting out a post that blatantly said, “Women belong in the kitchen.” 


Needless to say, this comment backfired quickly. Many Twitter users agreed that Burger King UK could have opened up the topic with a less sexist approach. One account replied to Burger King UK’s tweet saying, “Please don’t use sexism as clickbait,” and further explained how the comment was doing more harm than good. Another account on Twitter responded, “There’s better ways to draw attention to something that [does not include] using the most sexist trope ever.” 


Before getting removed from Twitter, the tweet at issue was the beginning part of a thread. In a series of subsequent tweets, Burger King UK highlighted the lack of female chefs in the restaurant business and attempted to promote more women in positions of culinary leadership. 


Burger King UK, then, followed up with, “If they want to, of course. 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.” The infamous tweet eventually explained how Burger King UK was starting up its new scholarship program to help women achieve their culinary ambitions. 


As the tweet continued to swarm the internet, more and more negative comments made out to Burger King UK began flooding across the media. At first, the Burger King UK account was defending its campaign. After being told that their tweet was “weird,” Burger King UK responded that “We think it’s weird that women make up only 20% of chefs in the UK restaurant industry.”


However, after many hours of constant debate, defensiveness, and backlash, Burger King UK ended up apologizing and deleting the tweet that backfired. Burger King UK formally apologized on Twitter by admitting, “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.” Subsequent to deleting the first post, the Burger King UK account posted another tweet and said, “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.”


“The Burger King UK account could have definitely taken a less offensive approach,” says Kyndal Prahl (12), “and they could have avoided this entire internet feud.” But at the end of the day, Burger King was trying to do a good thing for women on International Women’s Day as sexism still prevails in our current society. So, thank you Burger King for making an effort to promote gender equality within the workplace and happy women’s history month!