May 31, 2023 - Economy

Chick-fil-A faces calls for boycott over DEI job

Chick-fil-A restaurant exterior

Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed every Sunday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Right-wing activists have called for a boycott of Chick-fil-A based on misinformation related to the company's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Why it matters: The calls to boycott the Atlanta-based, conservative fast-food chain come as right-wing blowback to corporate DEI efforts nationwide intensify.

  • Anti-LGBTQ activists have helped to recently tank stock prices for companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Target, Axios’ Dan Primack and Sara Fischer report.

Driving the news: Chick-fil-A has been trending on Twitter after political strategist Joey Mannarino tweeted on Monday that “Chick-Fil-A just hired a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

  • The next day Mannarino tweeted out a poll asking “are we boycotting Chick-Fil-A over this or no?”

Yes, but: More than 110,000 people voted in the poll and 53.4% answered “No, do not boycott” versus 46.6% who selected “Yes, boycott.”

Meanwhile, Erick McReynolds has been working as Chick-fil-A’s VP of diversity, equity and inclusion since November 2021, according to a LinkedIn profile.

  • McReynolds was executive director of DEI from July 2020 until November 2021.
  • Chick-fil-A declined to comment on the record but has had its DEI webpage up including a quote from McReynolds since September 2022, according to an archived view of the webpage from WaybackMachine.

Flashback: The chain is well-known for its religious views — restaurants are closed every Sunday — and its foundation has donated to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations.

  • The company said on its DEI website that its corporate purpose is "to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us."
  • A 2019 report from ThinkProgress that used 2017 tax filings found that the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $1.8 million to groups that discriminate against the LGBTQ community, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

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