Burger King is facing fierce backlash over what many have dubbed a misogynistic tweet intended to celebrate International Women’s Day. On Monday, the official Twitter account for the burger chain’s UK locations took to the social media platform to declare, “women belong in the kitchen.” Although the comment was an apparent riff on the phrase and meant to highlight inequality within the restaurant industry, many thought the joke was in poor taste.
As soon as the tweet was posted, social media erupted, and the tweet racked up more than 98,000 retweets, more than 108,000 quote tweets, and thousands of more replies. One person slammed the chain by writing, "there's better ways to draw attention to something that don’t including using the most sexist trope ever." Another requested that the chain "please don't use sexism as clickbait," referencing two other tweets shared by BK after the initial that offered a little more context to the first.
Women belong in the kitchen.— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) March 8, 2021
Responding to the tweet, somebody else said they "won't be eating at your store again thanks." Another person wrote that while they understood what the chain was "using this comment as bait for a larger conversation to actually empower women," they need to "listen to all the women telling you that using a sexist comment as bait isn’t cool. This was the first tweet I saw on international woman’s day."
Although the initial tweet caused quite the stir, Burger King went on to add a little more context in a series of follow-up tweets that were shared immediately after they pressed send on the first tweet. In a second tweet, the chain wrote, "If they want to, of course. Yet only 20% of chefs are women." BK added that they are "on a mission to change the gender ratio in the restaurant industry by empowering female employees with the opportunity to pursue a culinary career." In a final tweet, the chain announced are "are proud to be launching a new scholarship programme which will help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams!"
Amid the backlash, BK has responded to numerous tweets airing grievances with the remark and has mostly stood their ground. Responding to someone asking what the thought process was behind the tweet, BK explained, "our 'thought process' is that women are shockingly underrepresented in our industry, and we thought it was time we did something about it." The chain also responded to those saying the tweet should be deleted, asking, "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?"