Is Chick-fil-A changing their tune?


Savannah Wesley

Illustration by Savannah Wesley/The Prairie News

Everyone loves a good spicy chicken sandwich, especially those of us here at West Texas A&M University who often frequent the Chick-fil-A satellite in the Jack B. Kelly Student Center. Chick-fil-A recently announced their discontinuation of donations to the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and focus more of their charity work to organizations that focus on “education, homelessness and hunger.”

The overall response to this reallocation of funds was met with criticism and praise across the board. Those who were against the move, including National Review writer John Hirschauer, chastised Chick-fil-A claiming they were caving to leftists and “would be-social engineers” and that the company “has abandoned their principles and betrayed the consumers who buoyed their rise from relative obscurity into the multibillion-dollar colossus that it is today.”

A tweet from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee on Nov. 18 said “The sad message of @ChickfilA is quite clear- they surrendered to anti- Christian hate groups. Tragic.”

Many allies and members of the LGBT community didn’t believe Chick-fil-A was genuine in their actions. This is due to past occurrences in which the company supported conversion therapy and opposing transgender rights and marriage equality. Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has been known for his outspoken views on LGBT rights and pulled back on voicing his views when he realized it was bad for business.

Forbes contributor Dawn Ennis, reported in her article “A prominent, out gay TV forecaster commented on my Facebook timeline: ‘I like my chicken without the bigotry aftertaste.’”

Initially, I wanted to call malarkey considering the area that I live in being not so subtly intolerant of the LGBT community. Despite Canyon being more liberal than surrounding cities due to its college student population, those of us in the community still face discrimination. However, I wanted to do more research before I belted out my opinion like every other person and potentially get something wrong.

Chick-fil-A’s blog post on about the move did not explicitly mention that they were discontinuing support due to anti-LGBT stances presented by the groups. They stated that “the Chick-fil-A Foundation will deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger.”

I also looked into the Salvation Army’s stance on LGBT rights and they have renounced the claims made against them. On their website, they released a statement explaining that they were “saddened” that Chick-fil-A was discontinuing their funding due to the spread of “misinformation”. In their statement released on Nov. 18 they said “We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population. When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor, is at risk.”

I find it to be a continual issue for media consumers to only read the headline or just one story and form their opinion off of without doing further research. But I have to remind myself that as a media communications major, I am constantly re-taught and reminded that I have to expose myself to other stories and perspectives so that I can develop a more rounded opinion on a topic or controversy. The general public and those outside of media communications might not have the same level of media literacy or are not reminded enough to continue practicing it. I believe this needs to change.