(WGHP) — Chick-fil-A is apologizing after a tweet over the weekend raised eyebrows — with many alleging it was racially insensitive.
A Twitter user named Don tweeted at Chick-fil-A on Sept. 9, saying “grilled spicy deluxe but still noooo spicy nuggets…………”
“Your community will be the first to know if spicy items are added to the permanent menu, Don!” the fast food chain’s official Twitter account replied. The reply has been retweeted over 1,700 times and quote-tweeted over 7,000 times, with many users voicing their disapproval.
“Wym [what do you mean] by “your community”? one user replied.
Some others pointed out Chick-fil-A may have been replying in reference to the user’s physical location, as menu items vary — in addition to saying the company uses the term “community” to respond to users in other contexts.
“All jokes aside, they reply like this frequently,” replied user @FactsinatedbyTV, who showed a reply from August using the same verbiage.
In a statement to TODAY, a Chick-fil-A spokesperson said: “The response was a poor choice of words but was not intended in any way to be insensitive or disrespectful. We often use the term ‘community’ in a broader sense to talk about places where we operate and serve the surrounding community.”
The fast food giant is no stranger to controversy, however.
Chick-fil-A as an organization has faced allegations of anti-LGBT sentiment and actions as long ago as 2012, according to the Washington Post. This incident involved chief executive Dan Cathy saying he was opposed to same-sex marriage. In 2019, Chick-fil-A announced a shift in its charitable focus, which was widely reported as the company pledging to stop giving to anti-LGBT organizations, USA Today explains. While the shift did include a stop to donations for controversial groups, there were 80 other organizations with no LGBT-issue ties that lost funding.
In 2020, Chick-fil-A was in the news again after social media rumors it had “resumed” giving to anti-LGBT groups, though USA Today notes the claim was debunked after Chick-fil-A verified tax documents being shared were from 2018.
Nevertheless, the chain has remained controversial for some. In July, a former Georgia employee who is transgender filed a lawsuit against Chick-fil-A, claiming her complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace were ignored. According to the lawsuit, the former employee, Erin Taylor, says she was instead told by the store’s owner that she should consider it as an “honor” that as a transgender woman “someone liked her enough to hit on her.”
The Washington Post reports Taylor is asking for damages related to “mental and emotional suffering,” in addition to lost wages and benefits.