A couple weeks ago, McDonald's, France, released a gay-friendly commercial that encouraged patrons to "come as you are." The ad, which created a lot of buzz (mostly in America, where it wasn't -- and as we learn below, won't be -- aired), got a reception from McDonald's execs in America that was colder than day-old fries.
The Chicago Tribune recently interviewed Don Thompson, the Chief of Operations at McDonald's, and has him saying:
"[A]t 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."
In response to Thompson's comments, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce -- the largest GLBT business group in the country with 1.4 million businesses -- has severed their relationship with McDonald's, writing in a letter:
We strongly believe that McDonald's plan to distance itself from LGBT and other diverse business segments, coupled with the release of the French TV ad, is ill advised and counter to the spirit of good business and sound ethics. We sincerely hope that McDonald's will reconsider its position and that the company will again show its support for LGBT people, our families and our businesses -- not just where it is politically expedient, but around the globe.
Barring a significant change in policy on the part of McDonald's, please consider this letter as official notice that the NGLCC will not accept future support or membership by McDonald's or any of its subsidiaries. Additionally, please note that we will answer any questions about this communication, the past relationship between our organizations or any other questions by members of the NGLCC, the media or other interested parties with nothing less than factual and accurate information based on our communications and experiences with McDonald's and its representatives.