Unlike Chick-fil-A's, McDonald's Chicken Sandwich "Loves You Just the Way You Are"
Unless your head has been sandwiched between the two fried chicken patties that make up KFC's Double-Down sandwich, you've heard about the controversy involving Chick-fil-A. Lesbian groups have been up in arms ever since Chick-fil-A's president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press he was "guilty as charged" of being "very much supportive" of the "biblical definition of the family unit." If you're a fried chicken fanatic who doesn't agree with Jonathan Merrit's those-who-boycott-are-the ones-missing-out stance in The Atlantic, you may have done just what he suggested and tried to sate your craving at McDonald's where they've been serving an "homage" to Chick-fil-A's iconic sandwich for a few years now. Ironically, the packaging on McDonald's Southern-Style Chicken Sandwich could be interpreted by those supporters as reference to the controversy.
The top of the box features a throwaway, but the side boldly proclaims in yellow capital letters, "WE LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE." Whoah! Is that a dig at Chick-fil-A?
Not quite, it turns out. At least according to the Golden Arches, there's no meaning behind the packaging on its Southern-Style Chicken Sandwich. Reached for comment, a representative for the company said there is "absolutely no correlation." McDonald's noted that "neither this menu item nor the packaging is new," and that "both have existed for the past several years."
You could argue that the timing of the packaging doesn't have anything to do with it. After all, as a recent Op-Ed in The New York Times wisely pointed out, Chick-fil-A's religious stance is not news. It's long been a known fact — indeed, the chain has been closed on Sundays since it launched in 1946. Someone behind the McDonald's marketing team could have been having some subtle fun poking at Chick-fil-A's stance when they launched the product.
According to the company, suggesting that would be irresponsible and incorrect. So maybe it's worth pointing out that McDonald's isn't exactly jumping at the opportunity to support marriage equality by raising this ad copy as a flag of support. At least for now, when it comes to a pro-gay fried chicken sandwich by a chain, albeit a small one, you'll have to turn to Schnipper's in New York City. The company’s Facebook page reads, "The sandwich is tasty – Marriage Equality is timely," and through August, it's donating $1 from every sale of their Chick-fil-A homage, Schnipper's Chicken Filet, to Marriage Equality U.S.A.
Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Follow Arthur on Twitter.