Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy sparked controversy when he announced the hiring of a Black man as vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
The company announced Tuesday that Erick McReynolds was appointed to the post of vice president of DEI. The news sparked protests by Chick-fil-A’s loyal conservative customers who claim Cathy has “gone woke.”
Cathy was a hardcore conservative until recently. In 2016, Cathy angered the LGBT+ community by speaking out against gay marriage.
A national boycott of Chick-fil-A restaurants failed when the company’s conservative fanbase flocked to the restaurants, boosting Chick-fil-A’s sales and stock price.
McReynolds is quoted on the company’s DEI website, saying he is “committed to ensuring mutual respect, understanding and dignity everywhere we do business.”
Conservative political strategist Joey Mannarino tweeted:
“We have a problem. Chick-Fil-A just hired a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is bad. Very bad. I don’t want to have to boycott.”
In a follow-up tweet, Mannarino posted a poll, and asked: “Ok, y’all so what is the consensus… are we boycotting Chick-Fil-A over this or no?”
As of Wednesday morning, 46.7% voted in favor of a boycott, while 53.4% voted against a boycott.
On Tuesday, a 2020 video resurfaced showing Cathy on his knees shining a Black man’s shoes during a discussion about racism at Passion City Church in Atlanta.
During the discussion, Cathy recalled a white man shining a Black man’s shoes at a revival in Texas. Then Cathy got up and walked over to singer-songwriter Lecrae, got down on his knees and shined Lecrae’s sneakers.
Watch the video below.
Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy says ALL whites should get on their knees and shine black peoples’ shoes with "a sense of shame, a sense of embarrassment". pic.twitter.com/KlEotHowWU
— Stew Peters (@realstewpeters) May 30, 2023