UPDATE: Chick-fil-A just announced the sudden death of its longtime spokesman this morning, reportedly from a heart attack. Here is a link to that story.
A number of celebrities have joined the myriad other commentators in discussing Chick-fil-A.
“Chick Fil A is delicious, give me a #1 with cheese cut in half,” tweeted Atlanta hip hop star Big Boi, who later tweeted, “Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday in honor of the Sabbath, you know how many folk miss that chicken for 1 day.”
Roseanne Barr struck a differing tone, tweeting that anyone who dines at the restaurant chain “deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ.” She later clarified her sentiments, saying she did not actually wish cancer on anyone. “I should have been more careful in choice of words,” she said in a follow-up tweet.
Also invoking medical conditions was celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who tweeted, “I heard #ChickFilA gives you diarrhea!”
Atlanta native Ed Helms, the actor of “The Office,” “The Hangover” and “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” note, tweeted: “Chick-Fil-A doesn’t like gay people? So lame. Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan.”
And Mia Farrow tweeted a link to an essay on the Think Progress website that said in part, “”There is … no accurate way to reduce Chick-fil-A’s words and actions to merely defending ‘biblical principles.’ This is — in every way, shape, and form — a company proactively engaging against the interests of LGBT people, and that is the quite justified reason for outcry.”
Prominent supporters of the Atlanta-based chain include pro hockey player Tim Thomas. “I stand with Chick-fil-A,” he wrote on his Facebook page. Mike Hubbard, speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, had Chick-fil-A for breakfast today. “Treated my staff to breakfast from Chick-fil-A to support free speech, family values and delicious chicken biscuits,” he tweeted.
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, tweeted, “For the record, I prefer Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
And San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee joined Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in urging the chain to stay away. “Closest Chick-fil-A to San Francisco is 40 miles away and I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer,” Lee tweeted.
Financial guru Dave Ramsey, a bestselling author and talk-show host who sells out stadiums all across the country with his live events, tweeted his support: “I LOVE Chick-fil-A food and Dan Cathy is a personal friend. I will be buying a biscuit on Aug. 1 to tell them I love them. Join me.”
He was referring to a movement spearheaded by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is encouraging people to dine at Chick-fil-A on Aug. 1. Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum is actively supporting “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” as well. In a statement, the Rev. Billy Graham said he will participate as well.
“I … appreciate Gov. Mike Huckabee’s leadership and for encouraging Americans to support Chick-fil-A on Aug. 1,” he said. “As the son of a dairy farmer who milked many a cow, I plan to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ and show my support by visiting Chick-fil-A next Wednesday.”
Atlanta author Jackson Pearce is urging a counter-movement on that date. “On … the day Mike Huckabee wants Chick-Fil-A supporters to patronize the restaurant, go to Chick-Fil-A. Ask for a large water and nothing else,” she said in a post on YouTube. “See if they adhere to Proverbs 25:21 (”If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.”) and give it to you. If they do, yay! You took a few cents from their hate fund! If they don’t, well…I guess they’re proving their principals aren’t so ‘biblical.’”
The debate stems from Cathy’s comments regarding marriage.
“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said in an interview with the Biblical Reporter. Here is a link to his entire statement.
While a number of economics experts pondered whether the flap will harm Chick-fil-A’s bottom line, University of Georgia marketing professor Sundar Bharadwaj told the Associated Press that it likely will weather the criticism relatively unscathed.
With more than 5.2 million Facebook fans and more than 180,000 Facebook users discussing it at the moment (according to a metrics snapshot), Chick-fil-A is certainly awash in commentary. The women on “The View” discussed it with Elisabeth Hasselbeck saying, “As citizens, if you don’t like something… you don’t have to buy anything there” and Whoopi Goldberg saying, “You don’t like what they’re doing, don’t go. But do not step on their right to have an opinion. This is still America.”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org