LONDON (Gray News) – The Burger King UK Twitter account went bold for International Women’s Day.
The company’s social media team tweeted, “Women belong in the kitchen.”
The company’s stated goal was to call attention to the low number of female chefs in the restaurant industry.
Burger King later replied to its “women belong in the kitchen” message with the announcement of a new scholarship program.
But if you didn’t click on the original tweet and look at the rest of the thread, you may have missed it.
The provocative message is approaching a million total retweets and likes. It’s collected tens of thousands of comments, not all of them positive.
One post accused Burger King UK of “attracting and validating sexist right-wing conspiracy theorists.”
Another said, “Burger King (expletive) you.”
Fast food competitor KFC took Burger King to task, suggesting it take the tweet down.
But Burger King fought back, saying it was drawing attention to an important issue.
“It was our intention to undermine an outdated stereotype about women and reclaim the terminology, in order to highlight a big problem in the restaurant industry – that women occupy only 20 percent of chef positions in UK restaurants today, which we believe is offensive,” a company representative told Huffington Post UK.
“We have teamed up with culinary schools to create a scholarship programme for our female team members to help them achieve their career aspirations.”