McDonald’s COO: Company’s American ‘Core Values’ Exclude Gays?

Gay_mcdonalds  

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, McDonald's COO Don Thompson suggests that the reason a gay McDonald's ad currently running in France won't be running in the United States is because homosexuality is offensive to Christians, like himself.

Mcdonalds_thompson Tribune: A French TV ad featuring a gay teen and his father has stirred some controversy — not there, but here. Can you talk about that?

Thompson: It is an example that markets, cultures are very different around the world. (For instance), I've never shied away from the fact that I'm a Christian. I have my own personal beliefs and I don't impose those on anybody else. I've been in countries where the majority of the people in the country don't believe in a deity or they may be atheist. Or the majority of the country is Muslim. Or it may be the majority is much younger skewed. So when you look at all these differences, it's not that I'm to be the judge or the jury relative to right or wrong. Having said that, at McDonald's, there are core values we stand for and the world is getting much closer. So we have a lot of conversations. We're going to make some mistakes at times. (We talk) about things that may have an implication in one part of the world and may be the cultural norm in another part of the world. And those are things that, yes, we're going to learn from. But, you're right, that commercial won't show in the United States.

Tribune: How has it done in France?

Thompson: Interestingly enough, there have been no negatives coming out of France. The brand is a local brand and different things will occur in different parts of the world. We just have to make sure that we understand the impact one action may make on another part of the world.

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has certainly taken notice:

"The French TV ad has truly been the last straw. To allow people to believe that McDonald’s is the kind of partner portrayed in this ad would be a complete failure on our part to serve as an honest and trusted resource for LGBT people and our families to help make informed decisions in the marketplace."

Comments

  1. Snowlowe says

    I wish I ate at McDonalds so I could boycott it, but I haven’t been to one in 15 years. Crap food.

  2. yonkersconquers says

    It’s the best ad McDonald’s ever made. Too bad that their American COO is so bigoted he can’t understand that.

    Being homophobic is a McDonald’s ‘core-principal.’ You heard it directly from the source. That means a boycott obviously, but it should also mean tons of activism and negative publicity from today on.

  3. Jedi says

    Dear Andy,

    I read McDonald’s COO Don Thompson’s comment that you posted here.

    Then I read it again.

    And again.

    And again.

    And, for the life of me, I could not find any suggestion in the comment that homosexuality is offensive to Christians, like Mr. Thompson, as you claim.

    In fact, Mr. Thompson’s reply was quite to-each-their-own politically correct.

    Enlighten me, Andy, because, in my view, I think you’re being a bit of a rabble-rouser, feeding the Christian (Thompson) to the gay lions (Towleroad readers).

    Let the games begin.

    Kind regards,

    Jedi

  4. Dave says

    I wouldn’t eat at McDonald’s if you paid me before this! Their food is poison to the human body. I’d call for a gay boycott, but honestly… Hasn’t that already been going on for the last forty years?

  5. Mike says

    It’s all about the $$$. Obviously in the US, McD believes it has alot more redneck and wingnut customers than those of a more agnostic, liberal mindset. Don’t kid yourself, if McD thought for a second it could increase market share with this ad, it would be EVERYWHERE.

  6. DougChgo says

    “I have my own personal beliefs and I don’t impose those on anybody else.” Except that, as a powerful decision maker, of course he’s imposing his beliefs on others. And, to say that, point-blank, he’s a Christian belies his ignorance of the religion that he professes to believe in and follow. He also isn’t terribly aware of his company’s LGBT employment policies, which specifically do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation: sounds like a core value to me.

  7. JD says

    COO Thompson’s homophobia came through loud and clear to me. McDonalds food is poison anyway. I’d never subject my body to that.

  8. Rob says

    Agreed, Jedi. I read it three times looking for a reason to stop eating Big Macs. It’s not in there.

  9. Rick says

    He is suggesting that homosexuality goes against the core values of this nation, this x-ian nation…that is why it won’t play here but it can play in the other country. Therefore, it is offensive to the moral values of x-ianity.

  10. Sam says

    Rob, you need a reason to stop eating Big Macs? Are you 300+ pounds?

    What part of this story don’t you understand? The head of McDonalds says that the company’s American “core values” exclude gays because homosexuality is offensive to Christians, like himself.

    Do you need a road map? Is English your primary language?

  11. ichabod says

    I agree with Jedi and Rob, Andy is stirring the pot, here. Just proof that one must always read things for themselves and not go by the knee-jerk headlines.

    I mean, really, aren’t there enough REAL stories to get furious about without reading into ones that are not?

  12. Dave Johnson says

    @Jedi- I completely agree with you. I see no foul here. In fact, I think he’s a prime example of how things should be: he may not agree, but feels he has no right to judge others, nor to inflict his views on anyone else. To call McDonalds homophobic because they arent running that ad here does smack of rabble-rousing. Will we next be calling them “curry phobic” because they don’t offer the “McCurry burger” here, that they can offer in their Far East markets? And to Mike’s point, much as we may not want to believe it, the world is still a big place, with varying tastes and tolerances. I think this merely underscores how far Americans have left to go in acceptance of Gay people, and I don’t necessarily hold McDonalds in contempt because they don’t choose to lead that push.

  13. excy says

    Homophobic core values, excuse me. I have an up-coming trip across the northern USA. I will not be pulling into McDo for my coffee or egg-mcmuffin at any of their locations.

    Hopefully I will be able to find Tim Hortons along the way ( I NEED my coffee)!

    You may recall an incident in 2009. One Tim Hortons restaurant in Rhode Island had agreed to provide 250 cups of free coffee for a “Marriage and Family Day” hosted by the National Organization for Marriage. Huge backlash in Canada. The company immediately removed its sponsorship after it was revealed that the NOM was an organization that campaigns against gay marriage.

    We DO have a choice. Boycott McDonalds.

  14. DonOttavio says

    Yeah, I’m with Jedi here. The problem with this blog entry is that the inflamatory headline got me all emotionally enraged before I had even read the piece. It definitely colored the way I read the COO’s quote the first time through. But after several re-readings, it seems his comments (at least in the context presented here) is actually quite laudable. If only all christians felt they shouldn’t impose their beliefs on anyone else.

  15. Donna says

    “I am a Christian…I don’t impose those beliefs on anyone else…except to make sure any ad that shows gays in such a positive, accepting light never airs in Amerika”

  16. DR says

    I don’t eat this junk, but that’s because it’s just bad for the body.

    I’m with Jedi and Rob. There’s nothing here which says “I won’t run this ad because I’m Christian”. France is more open to LGBs than the US, this isn’t a surprise, it’s sadly honest. I wish McDonald’s would take a stand and run the ad instead of taking the easy way out, but there have been how many ads featuring LGBs recently? Maybe one for Chemistry.com…

  17. Donna says

    OR….. “I may be racist, but I don’t impose those believes on anyone else, except to make sure we never air any TV ads showing people of color.”

  18. Jim says

    I think what Andy’s pointing out is there is definitely a subtext to the COO’s comment. I think if you’re not with us, you’re against us personally. Plus McDonalds’ food is gross unless you’re 12 years old.

  19. Ronald McDonald says

    I can’t believe so many people here are bending over backwards to make excuses for the CEO jerk. Are all these posts by “Jedi” under different names?

  20. johnny says

    COO says: “I have my own personal beliefs and I don’t impose those on anybody else.”

    Except when it comes to advertising your company, asshat.

  21. Bart says

    Sam, you could be a little more snide and bitchy, in case someone didn’t catch your sarcasm?

    I didn’t find anything homophobic in what Thompson said. He specifically said he works very hard not to impose his values even though he’s Christian.

    Being a parent (a gay parents…and wow dichotomy — a Christian) I hate that my kids even know what McDonalds is. I hate their food, I hate that my kids like their food. We simply try to avoid the place. If they ran a commercial with a gay character, I’d still hate the place and not want my kids to eat the food.

    But I get what Thompson is saying, cultures are different and in case most of you have been sleeping under a gay rock, most business in the U.S. do not trend their advertisements to gay men and women other than in gay magazines. They cast the widest net and try to offend no one. It’s innocuous but it is. I don’t take offense that I don’t see a gay character in a commerical. Hell, if that’s the case we might as well all grow our own food.

    I’m more offended by gay stereotypes in things like Will and Grace, etc., which portrays gay men as shallow, silly, and prissy. Ugh. But I didn’t stop buying products from the advertisers.

    How about we all start being positive role models and worry about how we are perceived in our own lives rather than on a freakin’ commercial for a food product most of us won’t eat anyway.

  22. Eugene says

    @Dave Johnson

    “I see no foul here. In fact, I think he’s a prime example of how things should be: he may not agree, but feels he has no right to judge others, nor to inflict his views on anyone else.”

    Would you say the same thing about a man who doesn’t “agree” with the existence of black people?
    Also, it’s ridiculous to imply that he doesn’t inflict his views on anyone else. As an executive, he makes decisions that affect people.

  23. maxx40 says

    Unless McDonald’s homophobia becomes practice (excluding LGBTers from restaurants, employment), there’s not much to go on. I mean, are we now demanding that we be represented positively in for-profit marketing???

    The ad has its own weirdness anyway. Straight dads/parents will always be clueless that their child might not be straight? Seems reassuring to those who are claiming not to “see” who is across the booth from them. Message: It’s ok not to recognize difference. This beautifully contradicts McDonald’s marketing strategy: recognize differences among demographics in order to maximize profits.

  24. Blair says

    Oh Big Mac, I going to miss you and that special sauce so much. Fuck off McDonalds!

  25. Mark J. says

    This actually pisses me off…as both a gay and black man. For this man to blatantely segregate mass media for his product, a product he would have no trouble gaining gay money from but not feel comfortable selling the product to is deplorable and not at all justifiable for him to actually SPEAK on behalf of Mcdonalds so freely about this prejudice.
    This really is nothing short of prejudice…the least of which I’d expect to come from him.

    Can anyone provide ONE contact info (email) for us to touch base with.

    Please don’t get complacent and just say “well, I don’t eat at Mcdonalds”….some of your friends may and they deserve to know of this (very PROUD) display of prejudice practices on Mcdonalds behalf, but more importantly….Mcdonalds themselves needs to know.

    Towleroad, I sincerely hope you keep us posted on this rather disturbing- yet very telling- incident.

  26. joe c says

    Unless you’re fine with homosexuality, I don’t beleve for two seconds that you don’t impose your beliefs on other people.

  27. Patric says

    Add me to the list of those who think that the words quoted here do not offer unambiguous support for the conclusion that Thompson is saying that “homosexuality is offensive to Christians, like himself.” He doesn’t expressly state at any point what his “own personal beliefs” as a “Christian” are.

  28. Lionsgate says

    “…at McDonald’s, there are core values we stand for …”

    Read: I’m a homophobe and am Christian and will be imposing that belief on this brand any which way I can.

    Disgusting that this can be tolerated in 2010, but it won’t so long as there’s people like me around.

    BOYCOTT McDonald’s and get the word out as to why (facebook, twitter, myspace)

    This man is living in the wrong century and country if he thinks this can fly by with out negative backlash.

  29. Michael says

    “Having said that, at McDonald’s, there are core values we stand for and the world is getting much closer. So we have a lot of conversations.”

    This is the only sentence that is subject to multiple interpretations. You can either read the core values as him talking about (right-wing) Christian values or as other values the company holds (diversity, etc.) despite how things might be in the rest of the world.

    I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he meant values in mushy corporate terms, but you all can take it however you like.

    Or he could be advertising the core value meals.

  30. Dave Johnson says

    @Eugene: To answer your question, albeit a strawman one… yes, if he were a racist, I feel he has the right to his belief, provided he doesn’t inflict them on others.

    As to your second comment, I think it’s naive to think he was the sole or ultimate decision maker in this. He was merely asked to comment on the French ad. I think his first responsibility is to the stockholders: sell more burgers. I would imagine his personal feelings would be subordinated to that goal.

  31. Dash says

    Gays will defend a straight person telling you you’re lesser than RIGHT TO YOUR FACE and shake his hand. The gays brushing this off disgust me. You have no self worth. Go sleep with the enemy (before they call you a f8g, who will burn in hell after catching Aids…but you won’t mind, at least they’re talking to you, right?)

    Complacent gays, be gone. You undermine the good work of the many LGBT before us.

  32. Dash says

    To those finding no harm in this man’s remark as a representative; substitute ANY other minority group in place of gays in terms of what he says.

    Would you be so forgiving if this was written by a white marketing exec of McD’s who spoke about black individuals and realizing a commercial with two black actors would not be appropriate for airwaves in the United States?

    If not, then it’s tie you go a little inward and ask yourself why you feel the gay community is below other minority communities.

  33. Rob says

    “Cultures are very different around the world”

    “…I’m a Christian”

    “But, you’re right, that commercial won’t show in the United States”

    OK, I can connect the dots among these various statements and interpret McDonald’s position that the American “Christian culture” is so unaccepting of gays that it won’t air an American version of this French TV ad. It does indeed seem to support Andy’s headline.

  34. dm says

    @Jedi, @donattavio, et al: I don’t think Andy’s stirring the pot here. The real story is in the NGLCC link — Thompson and McD’s are willing to market, sell and make money from anyone regardless of their beliefs, but they aren’t supportive of them. Those are two different things. As Mohandas Gandhi said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  35. candideinnc says

    Last I heard, France is also largely a “Christian” nation. (Catholics, for Mr. Thompson’s information, are considered Christian, just as are Baptists.) Mr. Thompson is correct in other respects, though. The French ad would cause an uproar in the U.S. and undermine McDonald’s sales. The difference which he refuses to acknowledge between the culture of France and that of America is that the Americans are fugging homophobes and bigots and the French are not.

  36. BumbleBeeLee says

    he said the commercial will not air in the U.S because of the implications of (of gay)- he said that and some of you still see no wrong in that?
    Me thinks a McDonalds PR person is spamming the comments section.
    I agree with other poster, if he were saying this about black or latino folks not being in a commercial because a majority of America is white the very same people defending him pulling the plug on gays would be enraged, especially if he were white. Oh man, the white trash jokes would not end. actually sickening reading anyone defend this, especially knowing they wouldn’t defend it had it been said about any other demographic, or the marginalization of air time of any other demographic because they aren’t the majority. OPEN YOUR DAMN EYES!

  37. Eugene says

    @Dave Johnson

    “yes, if he were a racist, I feel he has the right to his belief, provided he doesn’t inflict them on others.”

    That’s not what you said about Don Thompson, though. You said that he is “a prime example of how things should be”. Would you really say that a racist or a neo-Nazi is “a prime example of how things should be”?

    “I think his first responsibility is to the stockholders: sell more burgers. I would imagine his personal feelings would be subordinated to that goal.”

    Do you believe that he would decide not to show a commercial featuring black people if he believed that it would help McDonalds “sell more burgers”?

  38. Blake says

    If he said this about Latinos/blacks/Christians there would be riots from here to Mercury and their entire marketing committee would be fired before they turned their Blackberry on. Says a commercial featuring a gay person is not part of their core values? not much outrage over an OUTRAGEOUS claim and proceeding. I plan on letting everyone I know including a strongly worded email to corporate about this.

  39. walter says

    time for a quick switch to wendy’s or burgerking. the foods better anyway. the franchise owners and stock holders should stand and demand this man step down. how can a very prejudiced man run a large company. it is public owned and must adhere to anti discrimination laws. boycott mcdonald’s.

  40. Ealan says

    OK, I had to go back and read again & I’m not seeing the hate/homophobia/reason to get my knickers all in a twist.

    Thompson is saying that McDonalds does has an inclusive set of core values (globally), but they’re not about to wade into the middle of a controversy by running this commercial in the U.S. There’s nothing to be gained from it but controversy and McD’s is not trying to get involved in any controversy. The company didn’t become a giant by being on the cutting edge of anything, they err on the side of caution and play it safe. IMO, that’s not homophobia, its advertising.

  41. candideinnc says

    Do Wendy’s or Burger King or Hardee’s have gay friendly ads? When they do, I suggest it is time to boycott McDonald’s. After all, the French ad is a novelty in Europe and show an effort to open up to the gay community. They are leading the way internationally on this issue. I agree that there is Amerrican bigotry that is objectionable, and that Thompson’s remarks were not helpful. However, punishing the leader in gay friendly advertising for not being fast enough to reach out to gays in the US markets seems self-defeating.

  42. tiki says

    Some of you idiots need to take a reading comprehension course -unless it’s Thompson’s assitant trolling on here-

    Break it down for those of you who didn’t make it past the 4th grade:

    A MCDONALDS SPOKESPERSON JUST SAID AN AD FEATURING A GAY PERSON WILL NOT AIR IN AMERICA *BECAUSE THE PERSON IS GAY* AND THIS VILE SPOKESPERSON BACKED IT UP WITH THE TERM *CORE VALUES*

    Now spin that shit and tell me it’s acceptable (Don Thompson’s press ilk).

  43. woodroad34d says

    *I’ve never shied away from the fact that I’m a Christian
    *Having said that, at McDonald’s, there are core values we stand for
    *But, you’re right, that commercial won’t show in the United States.

    I don’t know, but those 3 statements pretty much say it for me. I’ve worked for a firm that dealt with McDonalds…they are conservative and corporate. I wonder if Rand Paul or any other racist knows that the COO of McDonald’s is black. I wonder if the COO has any idea of that kind of “impact”. What a douche.

  44. Back bone...find one. says

    Self loathing queers, get on the back of the bus where you belong and let the rest of us pioneering equality take the bull by the horn.

    If you don’t feel gays should be represented, when millions upon millions of us live in this country, then stop representing us and go back in the closet.

    To the rest of you rational thinking LGBT people, believe that you do have a place and role in mainstream society and don’t need to hide in a gay ghetto of every city. Our relationships, struggles and trimpuhs are just as valid as hetros and should be given the same amount of respect and devotion. Fight on!
    Just sent my email to the headquarters, oddly with my son waking up to eat breakfest, and hope you will too.

  45. says

    France is a country that has explicitly banned gay adoptions on a federal level. While it has a civil partnership that is open to gays and lesbians, it’s not marriage, and France won’t consider gay marriage for the forseeable future. So why did McDonalds run the ad there? Maybe they figured they could capitalize on the upswing in pro-American sentiment since the last election (The French people I meet still congratulate us on it). What would have been brave for McDonalds would have been to have an ad featuring some of France’s ethnic minorities.

  46. candideinnc says

    I suggest that the same questions asked of the COO of McDonald’s be asked of the COO’s of the other fast food chains. Also, ask them if their foreign markets advertise to gays, and if not, why not.

  47. Denise says

    It’s very telling that the post regarding Arizona illegal immigration bill, or a discrimination topic about any ethnic minority group gets far more outcry and passion from gay posters on here than a television exec (or in this case, COO) saying a commercial with gay people will not air in our country. It fascinates me when gays have far more fire in them toward defending other minorities, but will jump to justifying homophobia right under their nostril toward gays. It’s moments like these where I look around the progress of other minorities and realize our road leads to a dead end because of the people on it. If your own community does not have passion behind it’s causes and it’s tribulations, how do you expect others to?

  48. says

    Not only does this confirm that McDonald’s is run by homophobes, it is just the latest reason to never eat there. McD’s heavily markets and peddles its nutritionally void poison to minorities and the poor. Two groups who traditionally don’t have equal access to the health care that they will eventually need from eating this crap. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease…Oh yeah, I’m lovin’ it.

  49. Dave Jerelle says

    The McDonalds interns are working overtime on our comments section doing damage control.

    -Bashing of competition chains? Check!

    _Twisting this bigots words to sugar coat them? Check!

    _Mustering advertising lingo as far as why the commercial wouldn’t work in the U.S from an advertising stand point? Check!

    F*ck you and your core moral values. I’m switching to Wendy’s who DO indeed have a higher gay friendly rating than you, and this article proved it.

    (P.S~ If we went by this bafoons argument of majority, then commercials featuring blacks should not air in Montana, Alaska, Maine, North Dakota, Iowa, Kentucky….)

  50. Lionsgate says

    He said the France ad surprisngly got no negative feedback? well, his commentary certainly should.

    Email McDonalds and let them know you existed as does your money which they love to exploit. They have an entire area on their website dedicated to advertising questions and concerns: PLEASE LET THEM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL:

    http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/contact_us/marketing_advertising/marketing_advertising.html

    Corporates #: 1-800-244-6227

    And AMEN Denise! Glad someone had the balls to say it.

  51. Marc says

    Wow you guys, he said he doesn’t impose his religious beliefs on anyone, BUT IS by not allowing the commercial.

    ROCKET SCIENCE?, I know!

  52. Derek Washington says

    Lol, perfect Towleroad storm, a Black Christian who makes a statement the gays won’t like. Ooh, watch the hits go through the roof after you attach a leading headline to the post.

  53. candideinnc says

    Jerelle–

    I am a retired Ph.D. with no connection to food chains.

    You, on the other hand, are an idiot who responds to issues like this with knee-jerk rage. Your persanal insults are bullshit. You are unable to see any perspective but your own, and do as much damage as the trolls to honest and open discouse on the websites. Screw yourself!

  54. rovex says

    Basically what he said is that in France such an ad wont hurt sales or enrage fundies, but in the US it will. The result of this is that in France they would get more sales, but in the US they would get less as a result of the ad. Its all about money. If he thought it would increase sales here he would do it.

    Ultimately he worships money not a ‘god’.

  55. Bob says

    The guy in the picture looks like he enjoys the free McDonalds that comes with his job.

    This is outrageous! It’s not even 8 AM on the West Coast, but I can’t believe McDonalds hasn’t corrected this misunderstanding with an updated statement about loving the gays by now.

  56. Jonathan says

    His point about core values is that internationally, those values don’t change. So, the fact that the ad aired in France indicates it is within those core values. However, he believes that demographically, the ad would not be useful in American markets. Can anyone here really argue with him?

    I would point out that McDonald’s has an HRC rating of 85. With the changes coming to that list, I expect that score to fall unless McDonald’s is working on significant improvements to their LGBT employee support.

  57. Kitty Boots says

    Wait? A big fat black guy is COO of mcDonalds? That’s it. i don’t patronize companies that employ overweight black guys. It’s against my core values.
    Suck it McDeath.

    J/k obviously, but Did this guy forget that McDeath wouldn’t allow black people in their ads until the mid-70s? And THEN, only adults, never children lest Good White America thought their little klansmen might sit next to a black child.

    I’d boycott McDeath over this but I’ve been ignoring their edible plastics for over 30 years.

  58. says

    Jesus fucking Christ, gay people in this country have become so used to homophobia they’re beginning to go along with it. The subext in what he says is very clear and doesn’t take much insight to find it. Why else would he even bring up his Christianity? He’s blatantly pitting Christianity against acceptance of homosexuality. He’s saying McDonald’s would not air this ad, which is clearly pro-homosexuality, in the U.S because they think it would not be tolerated here. I think he and his company are pre-rejecting the ad without letting the people decide if it’s too much for them.

  59. Chitown Kev says

    @Mike

    “Obviously in the US, McD believes it has alot more redneck and wingnut customers than those of a more agnostic, liberal mindset. Don’t kid yourself, if McD thought for a second it could increase market share with this ad, it would be EVERYWHERE.”

    Ding ding, we have a winner.

  60. willyag says

    well, if you really want to eat MacDonald’s after that, go to France :)
    And to the wrong comment about gay adoption in france, it’s not forbiden by the “federal”(?!?) law, in France you can adopt if you’re gay, but not in couple (a new equality law is coming soon), but if you’re single and gay, you can adopt !

  61. Lionsgate says

    candideinnc:

    I’m not the poster you’re debating but Honest and discourse on our site is EQUALITY…that’s what it is. This site is for equality not challenging that notion. What you stand for in defending this practice is inequality, regardless of you many sugar canes you put on it, it’s evident. This is a blatant and admited slant against what is appropriate by McDonalds and with this decision they deemed it inappropriate to air. If you choose to take no issue with that, fine, but don’t come preaching to a gay website about how we should accept this when the patrons of this site are those making tangible differences. Look up gawker.com of something mindless. You got the wrong crowd.

  62. db says

    Thompson is really an idiot. Too bad more gay people don’t eat at McDonalds so a boycott would have more effect.

  63. MrRoboto says

    For me, the key phrase isn’t the “core values” or the “I’m a Christian stuff” or even that the commercial won’t air the U.S. The key thing here is that he says: “We’re going to make some mistakes at times.” He says this in response to a question about a commercial aimed at gay consumers in France. And by his own words, he characterizes that commercial as a mistake, then in the second response expresses his surprise (“interestingly enough”) that there was no negative blowback in France.

  64. Doug says

    i will vote with my feet and my $$…i will never eat at McDonalds again until this moron is replaced and a sizable donation is made to LGBT causes.

  65. Reader says

    Andy’s reporting says that the COO “suggests” that fact X is true. But the COO does not actually suggest that X is true! The interview itself might suggest that the COO believes that X is true, but that’s entirely different. Dishonest reporting on Andy’s part here.

  66. Chad says

    The only thing is Mr. Thompson’s brand of black church christianity is a hundred years behind other churches who have changed their tune about gays and have accepted reality. So it’s kind of pompous when he speaks for all “christians”.

  67. Ted B. says

    Boycott… Even if you don’t actual eat at McDonald’s, drop Thompson’s boss a protest-letter anyway.

    Mr. James Skinner, Vice Chairman and CEO
    McDonald’s Corporation
    2111 McDonald’s Drive, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523

    …And mention Don Thompson by name, he deserves to be promoted to “unemployable”.

  68. Henry Holland says

    ” I think he and his company are pre-rejecting the ad without letting the people decide if it’s too much for them”

    Jeebus, how naive are you? You need to get out of the (212) more often. If the ad aired here, it would be handing the wingnuts a chance to spew bullshit like “See! The Gays are recruiting!” and to crank up the Right Wing Noise Machine. Why should McDonald’s bother? I care more about the fact that their bathrooms are often pigsties than whether they’re on the cutting edge of gay rights.

    “Some of you fags really take the cake. ‘McDonald’s food is really gross and no self-respecting gays should ever eat there! And now I’m mad they won’t show gay people in their television advertisements!’ Seriously, you need to have a Big Mac shoved down your throats”

    Hahahaha, exactly. So you people are going to boycott a place you never go to anyway? Huh? I suppose I’ll have to boycott In-n-Out Burgers and their great Double Double’s and fries because the company is owned by Christians and they print Bible verses on their placemats. And Carl’s Jr. because they’re owned by Xtians, the late Carl Karcher was a nasty piece of Bible-thumping work. And….and…..and…..

    Fuck that, if I boycotted every food source that was owned by assholes with ethical problems, I’d have to renounce my cushy American life and become a hunter-gatherer in Africa.

    For the record, I’m an office manager for a construction company, not some McD’s PR lackey and I love their fries, the snack wraps, salads with Newman’s dressing and the Big Breakfast.

  69. Chitown Kev says

    So…

    Am I hearing that gays want to be a marketing target for McDonald’s food?

    And I think that he is probably speaking for his board of shareholders which I suspect would be mostly white…

    But still…

    I never thought that gays were a target of marketing this type of fast food anyway (hell, I wish they didn’t market it to blacks so much).

    @Chad-what the fuck do you know about black church christianity?

  70. Joseph says

    Guess I’ll only be eating at McDonald’s in France and boycott it here in the U.S.

  71. Robert L Housman says

    Were I Joe Solmonese at HRC or Any other Head of one of the LGBTQ org. or If I were one of the Q & Company Bloggsters I would “ENCOURAGE” the following action

    1 If you are out attending a PRIDE EVENT make sure you stop by a McDonald’s (Public) Restaurant.
    Their COO thinks we are offensive to his Christian Customers. I think that just because they don’t know us. So I certainly think we should do a meet and greet at their place of business. ( Shirt and Shoes required)
    2. I would ask Q-Christians to make sure that the Manager Supervisors at your neighborhood McDonalds knows that you are NOT offended by the French AD But I fact believe such as ad reflects a point of view very acceptable to Jesus Christ.
    (I would hope you would speak in your outdoor voice when talking to the manager. Being a Christian witness should never be a timid act.)
    3. I would encourage every wall, every tweet, every e-mail to repost this ad across the country with the message NOT SUITABLE FOR US McDONALD’s customers.
    Mr Don Thompson should get to know us much better.

  72. Paul says

    I agree with previous posts. I don’t think the headline of this article is accurate. I guess all the re-tweets on twitter drove traffic to your site though…

  73. Randy says

    Just like Google, McDonald’s cannot say one thing in one country, and do another in another country. They MUST air a similar commercial in the US and Canada.

  74. jamal49 says

    I HATE, and I mean HATE, when these assholes always toss in that disgusting and cowardly caveat “I’m a Christian…..” Yeah, well I’m a Queer with a capital “Q” who stopped eating McDonald’s mystery-meat products two decades ago and I’ll match my values to your values any day of the week, Mr. Thompson. Oh, by the way, your so-called “food” still sucks. A pox on your house to the 18th generation.

  75. TANK says

    I haven’t eaten at mcdonalds in over a decade. It is awful food…but moreso, not with my family’s history of heart disease.

    Some observations…

    he’s clearly a homophobe, and is hiding behind his pick and choose version of christianity to justify it.

    Second, have you ever noticed that in the united states, mcdonalds ads are heavily geared toward the black community? Black men have heart attacks at a rate much higher than white men of a similar age in the u.s., and it’s not insane to speculate that diet does play a role in that. I am not at all curious as to why this is, but it’s something I’ve noticed. And I know for a fact that white people in the u.s. who frequently eat there aren’t upper middle class. Given these two observations, he might have a point about that ad not playing well in the united states. Then again, there are, I’m sure, many gay friendly people who eat at mcdonalds, so it doesn’t at all justify eliminating them from the ad pool.

    I think this moron shouldn’t have spoken from a position of complete ignorance in a priori god of gaps language, but instead, should have responded to focus groups to ground his opinion. he’s assuming, and that’s never a good place to sneak in a value–especially when money is concerned.

  76. jakeinlove says

    McDonald’s has been on my “I’m desperate for a burger and can’t find anything better” list for a long time. However this will make it disappear altogether.

  77. SFshawn says

    Just rent Supersize Me or Food,Inc and you can observe first-hand how McDeath creates their supposed “FOOD”. Instead of eating that SHIT I’ll go get a nice healthy salad,some steamed veges and some organic fruit for lunch. Thompson and his form of homohatred is really disgusting in 2010 but fake food is even more disgusting. Mr. Thompson already looks like a fat pig so he’s a good representative for McDeath actually. :)

  78. New Jersey Girl says

    Oh for fuck’s sake, Jedi and crew!

    This is a PATTERN by McDonalds in the US to discriminate against LGBT.

    Two short years ago we were all clamouring here when McDonalds’ caved into the AFA and fired their Gay/Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Liason then sent him packing to Canada.

    Face it, McDonlads has comprimised it’s core mission to provide cheap-crappy-food to people and has stepped into the Social Arena of Public Policy where they are controled by Christians. Big Fat sloppy christians.

    Here’s some news for you, Jedi:

    Anyone who believes in ‘invisible sky fairies’ and hears voices in their heads should NOT be running a multi-national corporation. They should be locked up in an insane assylum doped up on medicine.

    My boycott continues. And I am NOT 300 lbs, more like 240. So they DO LOSE MONEY from me!

  79. Paul R says

    Actually the most absurd thing he says is that McDonalds is a local brand. Along with Coke and Mickey Mouse, it’s the brand with the clearest U.S. image in the world.

    And Tank is right: they market to poorer people and are often located in poorer neighborhoods. Most people with a lot of money and concern for their health wouldn’t dream of eating a Big Mac, yet lower-income families eat fast food something like 6 or 8 times a week. It’s easy, fast, and affordable—and horrible for you.

    And to me it just tastes awful, like fat, salt, and chemicals mixed together. Even the chicken Mcnuggets are made from slurry. That’s right, that’s not even “formed” chicken: it’s liquid that was manipulated to have the texture of chicken.

  80. Henry Holland says

    “I think this moron shouldn’t have spoken from a position of complete ignorance in a priori god of gaps language, but instead, should have responded to focus groups to ground his opinion”

    How do you know they haven’t test-marketed this ad to death already? I’d be willing to bet a meal at a “fine dining” place that this ad has an American version, it was test-marketed and didn’t do well outside of big cities. They knew it would be controversial here, but they’re not in the business to advance gay rights, they’re in the business to sell $4 Angus burgers (which are tasty, btw).

    Yes, McDonalds ads target blacks but they also target Spanish speakers –I watch a lot of soccer on Spanish channels and McD’s ads are a constant– and here in Los Angeles, Korean and Chinese speakers too.

    Of course it’s cynical of them to say “Well, white people have caught on to how unhealthy we are, let’s find some other group to market to” but if anyone is surprised that a multi-billion international corporation would do that, that person is too stupid to live.

    I also love how people here are freaking out about diabetes and calling their food “poison”, like everyone that goes to goes to McD’s is like Morgan Spurlock, living on their food exclusively. Get a grip, please?

  81. Verdon Coleman says

    Well, I needed a reason to stop eating at McDonald’s. This article just gave it to me. And on a related point, as far as the NGLCC is concerned, how can you have a website for a foundation based in Washington, DC, of which the population is more than 50% African-American, and not have a single African-American listed an employee or board of director member? So for me, this is a twin slap in the face as a gay African-American.

  82. TANK says

    henry, did you just wake up from your pizza nap? you know, when you usually eat so much pizza that you need a nap afterward? You seem awful cranky after your pizza nap, fatass.

    Anyway, you attribute way too much competence to corporate america. If they’d done market testing and it revealed that it sells in the big cities–they’d play them in the big cities. But even more than that, this religious douchenozzle would have SAID SO to bolster his OPINION.

  83. Colin says

    Its so obvious there’s a McDonald’s PR person spamming these comments. Its called reading between the lines people. Don’t be complacent and defend him.

  84. TANK says

    and you’ll show everyone, grabbin, by marching your pair of big fat floppy breasts to the order counter at mcdonalds and proclaiming your birthright as an american by ordering as much fast food as you can put down in a sitting. You rebel… I’m not saying you’re out of shape, grabbin, it’s just that that porker andrew zimmern from that stupid show on the travel channel (in america we have shows revolving around obese people gorging themselves…not recipes…not cooking…just fat slobs eating food in front of a camera and mooing about how much they love it) who’s so massive he has to wear a sarong; that’s probly where you’re about at.

    And the complaints about eating this type of food are legitimate. It is extremely unhealthy, and I hail from a family of very serious eaters with very serious heart disease (my father’s working on his third heart attack)–after thirty-five, it’s all downhill for them and many don’t make it past sixty (not a steakhouse in this country that one of my fatass relatives doesn’t have a photo up because they won some fat fuck eating competition, or has visited several times)…but far be it from me to curb your appetite…you rebel!

  85. Caitlin says

    It doesn’t matter what he said here. By refusing to air the ad, that enough is example of his homophobia.

  86. Paul R says

    Jeez, Tank, I’ve often promised myself not to respond to your comments, but please don’t ever waste your time responding to Grabbin. Really, it’s not worth your time. At least you show signs of intellect, however frustrating at times.

  87. candideinnc says

    Lionsgate–
    I was probably marching for equality before you were born, so I don’t need a lecture about equality, thank you. In case you didn’t read what I wrote, the things I said were that because of Amercan bigotry, McDonald’s would not use gay friendly ads. The French would. I said that McDonald’s is in the forefront of offering gay friendly ads, and that their competitors were not. I said that because of this, I didn’t think it reasonable to punish McDonalds. PLEASE, PLEASE tell me how, in these comments, I support gay discrimination or oppose equality for gays! I also said I objected to the remarks of the McDonald’s COO.

    A little syllogism might be useful to those here who are making a big deal of this:

    Advertising is designed to encourage people to buy a product.

    The French ad that featured the gay boy is much more likely to lose McDonald’s customers in America than it is to win customers;

    Ergo, McDonalds in America would be crazy to run the ad.

  88. New Jersey Girl says

    GO HERE and post the message below and send. Let them know how dispicible don Thompson is:

    http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/contact_us/social_responsibility/social_responsibility.html
    Dear Sirs,

    As a customer of McDonalads, and more importantly as an American, I must object to your company’s continued employment of COO Don Thompson based on his recent comments regarding the new Gay-friendly
    McDonald’s commercial in France.

    From his words it is obvious that Mr. Thompson has an ugly disposition towards LGBT and is building his personal history of discrimination against LGBT – based on his religious animus – off the backs of your great corporation.

    Is it corporate policy for McDonalds to employing people (like Thompson) who utilize their personal religious beliefs to set Corporate Policy?

    The LGBT community fights daily for the equal right to love openly and honestly the person of their OWN choosing.

    Mr. Thompson, along with his christian fellowship, is fighting for our eradication from public life – based on God’s Damnation of LGBT.

    How can you even compare the two?

    And how can McDonalds employ a person who is proud to advocate for the ruin and destruction of Gays and Lesbians – in front of a microphone and wearing a McDonald’s logo?

    How?

    As an LGBT Consumer of your products, I object to this kind of hatred spewed from the mouths of your officers.

    And that is why I am boycotting McDonalds as of today, and encouraging family and freinds to do so until you have removed
    Mr. Don Thompson from his office.

    …As you did LGBT Chamber of Commerce Liason Richard Ellis in October of 2008.

  89. Craig says

    Don’t worry sir! This homo won’t be stepping into a McDonald’s the rest of my life! No gay to pray away in YOUR business! EVER.

  90. says

    Um…

    For the people who don’t see the homophobia in the COO’s words…

    Clearly, reading comprehension is not your strong points. Eek.

    No, he didn’t say, “we don’t want no fags coming to Mickey-Dees,” but he certainly made the point that he, himself, does not share the values that the French do when it comes to acceptance and tolerance, and that he didn’t think Americans do either, and that McDonalds wouldn’t play an ad like the French one here because of those things. If people can’t understand that much from his language, it only goes to show how poorly our public education system is across this country. Yikes.

    As for “boycotting” McDonalds… I have to say, I won’t have the stomach to eat there anymore, whether there’s an official boycott or not. Those words the COO just said would make me completely uncomfortable to do so. And I DO shop at McDonalds every once in a while, as I have a job that includes a lot of travel and a lot of evening meetings and I can’t always cook, and often need to get something on the road.

    I actually think McDonalds has done a lot to improve its menu and… if you look really *really* hard, you can even get some things on it that won’t completely ruin your day, while also tasting not so bad (like their grilled chicken wraps, sans the cheese and dressing, or salads sans the dressing). So I guess I’m going to have to choose different places on those nights I’m on the road and don’t have time to cook, or plan ahead and have something ready to go in the morning (even if a bagged *dinner* is a huge downer LOL).

  91. prettygirl 1226 says

    Ok so here is my belief with this. I am a christian and understand what Thompson was saying. I am not here to judge no one that is my God’s job not mine. What you do is your business. Do I agree with it? no but we all make our own choices. As far as this commercial is concerned Thompson is right every demographic is different and I do believe that if it ran in the US it would offend a lot of people. Just like some European commercials involve nudity that don’t run in the US or other countries because it is offensive. Like I said, what your decisions in life are is not my business and I do not look down on anyone for being gay. “Do not judge lest you be judged”

  92. Neutral says

    I have been reading and re-reading this ad and I have to go along with some of the others here. While the mention of Core Values grabbed my attention, it does not say that the core values are why the ad will not show in America. It may imply that but it also may imply that the Core Values are why they talk about things (ie. “So we have a lot of conversations. We’re going to make some mistakes at times. (We talk) about things that may have an implication in one part of the world and may be the cultural norm in another part of the world.” which is said right after the Core Values statement. While I would love to see Gay Friendly ads in America, from a marketing point of view they would probably lose more than they would gain at the moment. From an equality standpoint sure they should run ads to attract all aspects of life but frankly ads are about making money so McDs made a decision that in the US a gay ad would not make them money. unfortunately that is probably true. What we as responsible gay Americans need to do is not boycott, not feed hysteria. Boycotting over this could easily feed anti-gay opinions because it shows us as being dramatic. We need to pool our resources with advocacy groups like Human Rights etc to get our own ads for Gay Rights, Equality and also for other not necessarily Gay issues we wish to support. Lets not jump on an obviously business decision just because it hurts our feelings.

  93. Hamburgler says

    What the man stated was that the tv ad offended him and the christians!
    So now who is he actually ofically speaking for himself or all those right wing christians ?
    I mean even tho here in the deep south we might have bigoted red necks but even they can see hatred being spewed forth from a bottomless well of hatred !
    But on the other hand I do have to concour with the over all idea of boycotting the rainbow room ( but then that’s an easy to do thing for thus southern gay couple since we eat at home most of the time because fast food isn’t part of a diabetic’s diet for the most part !)

  94. chris says

    Fuck you Thompson and fuck you MacDonalds for polluting us as much as BP. Boycott MacDonalds…..