OPINIONConsumer Trends

Now Chick-fil-A is being blasted by the right

Working Lunch: The high-flying chain is drawing fire for hiring a head of diversity, equity and inclusion. Is any brand safe from the nation's political polarization?

Chick-Fil-A has been criticized loudly by the political left for supporting opponents of same-sex marriages and other progressive causes. Now the high-flying chain is catching political fire again, this time from the far right. 

As this week’s Working Lunch podcast reports, the Atlanta-based chain has been accused of harboring liberal sympathies because it’s hired a VP of diversity, equality and inclusion, or DEI.  Some anti-LGBTQ groups are even calling for a boycott like the one that's dramatically cut sales of Bud Light. 

The flap has developed despite the fact that Chick-fil-A hired the VP in November 2021. The critics just hadn't noticed.

The term "DEI" has become a red flag for many on the right since the phrase was demonized by Florida governor and U.S. presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. He has equated the acronym with “woke-ness” and what he says are other euphemisms for extreme leftist crusades.

The situation prompts co-hosts Joe Kefauver and Franklin Coley, principals of the government-affairs company Allied Public Strategies, to consider whether any restaurant brand is safe from political controversy in today’s polarized environment.

The veteran lobbyists also look at how the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on a California animal-husbandry law might affect bacon and ribs prices in Massachusetts, and the restaurant-focused laws pouring out of California’s statehouse.

Download the episode from wherever you get your podcasts.

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