Burger King really said: "Women belong in the kitchen"
It didn't go according to plan.
Burger King, like most other major businesses, begun the day with their ideal version of International Women's Day in mind. They'd send some tweets out, get a conversation started, and by the end of the day have the desired cultural cache as a result of it.
Then they tweeted "Women belong in the kitchen" this morning and have faced a massive backlash ever since. Clearly designed to grab the attention of social media users, the tweet was followed up with two more, which explained their point in greater detail.
They read: "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."
That tweet itself was then followed up with a third, which said: "We are proud to be launching a new scholarship programme which will help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams!"
Now, while people are undoubtedly aware of what Burger King were trying to do here, it appears to have failed in its execution. The point of the Twitter thread was to draw attention to their new scholarship scheme for female employees, but by starting the thread off with one of the oldest sexist stereotypes in the world, it meant that they sort of buried the lede.
As a result, the tweet drew plenty of criticism, including from regular Twitter users, as well as some of the company's rivals, including KFC, from the company's gaming account.
— Westie ☢️ (@MrProWestie) March 8, 2021
somebody working at Burger King really looked at this and thought it was a good idea
— chop (@chopggs) March 8, 2021
In response to the KFC Gaming tweet, which encouraged them to delete the tweet, Burger King responded:
"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."
So there you have it. Their intentions were clearly good, but it appears Burger King forgot two cardinal rules of social media: A) nuance is very hard to find on it, and B) very, very few people read beyond the first tweet in a thread.