Well, the Tweet definitely drew a lot of attention.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Burger King U.K. announced a new scholarship program designed specifically to help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary careers. As the fast-food chain explained, only 20% of chefs are women, which is something they were hoping to change. Unfortunately, the way they announced the program — with a tweet reading “Women belong in the kitchen” — didn’t sit well with many social media users.
Initially, Burger King U.K. defended its tweets, but the company has since apologized for its choice of words.
“We hear you. We got our initial tweet wrong and we’re sorry,” Burger King U.K. wrote on Twitter. “Our aim was to draw attention to the fact that only 20% of professional chefs in U.K. kitchens are women and to help change that by awarding culinary scholarships. We will do better next time.”
The company posted another tweet explaining that it had deleted the initial message that sparked the outrage.
“It was brought to our attention that there were abusive comments in the thread and we don’t want to leave the space open for that,” the chain added.
As Fox News previously reported, the Twitter thread that initially sparked backlash against Burger King U.K. was intended to announce a new H.E.R. (Helping Equalize Restaurants) scholarship program. Most social media commenters, however, responded negatively to the first tweet in the series, which simply read, “Women belong in the kitchen.”
Even after Burger King UK clarified its intent, social media users continued to call the company out for “misogynistic baiting.”
In a statement obtained by Fox News prior to the original Tweet’s deletion, a spokesperson for Burger King said the brand is “committed to helping women break through a male-dominated culinary culture in the world’s fine dining restaurants – and sometimes that requires drawing attention to the problem we’re trying to help fix.”
The statement continued: “Our tweet in the UK today was designed to draw attention to the fact that only a small percentage of chefs and head chefs are women. It was our mistake to not include the full explanation in our initial tweet and have adjusted our activity moving forward because we’re sure that when people read the entirety of our commitment, they will share our belief in this important opportunity.”