As the world celebrated female contributions to society on International Women’s Day, Burger King thought it was a good idea to bring up ‘old-fashioned’ jokes. The fast-food chain tweeted ‘women belong in the kitchen.’
The Drum reports, Burger King UK explained the tweet ‘women belong in the kitchen’ was specifically tweeted on Women’s Day, to highlight gender disparity in its restaurants.
”It was our intention to undermine an outdated stereotype about women and reclaim the terminology in order to highlight a big problem in the restaurant industry – that women occupy only 20% of chef positions in UK restaurants today, which we believe is offensive,” said their spokesperson.
Only 20% of chefs in eateries are women. However, the intended joke had no one laughing. They did achieve the goal to spark discussion around gender inequality in the restaurant trade.
The rest of the thread explained the broader context of the joke regarding gender disparity and the launch of a new scholarship program.
”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, … We are proud to be launching a new scholarship program which will help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams!”
In the end, Burger King UK had to delete the tweet and apologize.
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
Yet the onslaught of grand slams on social media was not coming in slow. People opted for humor to take a dig at the global eatery’s ill humor. Yes, we mean memes.
burger king: pic.twitter.com/m6Y5tOEeJ7
— dollar store philip seymour hoffman 🎬 (@dshvndvr) March 8, 2021
Burger King's social media manager pic.twitter.com/zBvPnpYuVt
— marj 🍳 (@cydoniasands) March 8, 2021
“Mr King of the Burger, can we get equal pay?”
Burger King: pic.twitter.com/vQ8FVTWayC
— CoffeeMaestro (@coffeemaestro_) March 8, 2021
burger king uk be like pic.twitter.com/MvEoWSYLk7
— passing through a screen door (@anyothersky) March 8, 2021
Burger King will never change its name to Burger Queen, because then they'll be expected to work twice as hard for half the pay while pretending sexual harassment doesn't exist.
— Joshua Gale (@joshuafett75) March 9, 2021
Some Netizens even called this a bad publicity stunt.
Burger King UK: “What? This obviously provocative ad campaign drew lots of negative attention, radically boosting engagement? We had no idea!” pic.twitter.com/WuFzcLFH13
— Cool Review Guy (@CoolReviewGuy) March 8, 2021
However, there were people that understood the broader context of the ill-humored joke and supported Burger King UK in their attempts to overcome gender disparity in the kitchen.
You don’t need to be sorry. I’m actually embarrassed you had to publicly apologise. The thread was clear and obvious. 80% of chefs in the industry are male. That needs changing. Women need more of a chance. So yes they DO belong in the kitchen. Working in a kitchen if they wish.
— ♕J♕ (@IcyHiccup) March 8, 2021
Don't apologize for people that can't read past the first tweet
— TrainBoy227 (@TrainBoy227) March 8, 2021
What do you think about the ill fate of Burger King’s ill-humored joke? While no one is laughing, do you think we should cut the fast-food chain some slack? Let us know in the comments below.