Some people aren’t too happy that the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A has hired a vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
The move has prompted some conservative groups to call for a boycott. This comes after the eatery was a favorite among many because of its religious roots and donations to anti-LGBTQ groups.
But the announcement of Erick McReynolds as the DEI VP seems to indicate a change of heart, at least in some areas.
DEI is a variable of principles implemented into workplaces to help improve those areas, including hiring more diversity among employees, making pay roles equal, and more. It has become a trend among companies to hire for roles like these. Yet, it’s a practice criticized by many conservatives in recent years.
“Chick-fil-A restaurants have long been recognized as a place where people know they will be treated well. Modeling care for others starts in the restaurant, and we are committed to ensuring mutual respect, understanding, and dignity everywhere we do business,” McReynolds previously said, adding that it’s a crucial component.
Chick-Fil-A says the company is focused on promoting equal access to opportunities, valuing differences, and “creating a culture of belonging.” The company’s DEI page also lists several groups it has supported, including Women in Business (WIB) and the Black Employee Resource Group (BERG).
Political strategist Joey Mannarino tweeted following Tuesday’s viral news, writing, “This is bad. Very bad. I don’t want to have to boycott. Are we going to have to boycott?”
He then included a poll that had 45,000-plus votes as of Tuesday morning.
Chick-fil-A is known for its past donations to organizations considered by many to be anti-LGBTQ—Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes— but in 2019, the chicken sandwich chain said it would transition its support elsewhere.
In 2020, it was reported that the company had not resumed donations to these organizations. Instead, Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy has personally supported the National Christian Charitable Foundation.
But the organization did work to stop the passage of the Equality Act in 2021.
Chick-fil-A said in its resurfaced announcement that it hopes its “Better Together” DEI actions are seen as a positive change for the company, The Hill reported.
“We’re early on in our journey, but we’re honored by the opportunity to steward our organization’s greatest asset — our people — and are energized by the road ahead,” Chick-fil-A said.