Is Kentucky Fried Chicken jumping on the #MeToo and #TimesUp bandwagon? Is this another attempt to be socially acceptable? Or was it just a marketing decision with no ulterior motive?
The latest reincarnation of the famous colonel is causing some major waves with some people. This is the first time it has ever been done in the company history which may explain why some are up in arms about it.
Others who have donned on the iconic role include Rob Lowe, George Hamilton, and Darrell Hammond. But now it’s Reba McEntire as Colonel Sanders, and not everyone is happy about the decision.
KFC tweeted the commercial, saying, “Nothing to see here, folks. Nope, nothin’ at all. Just the same old Colonel with a new flavor of fried chicken.”
For Reba’s part, she was grateful to step into the Colonel’s shoes.
“I grew up with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s part of my story, and I’m so excited to now be part of theirs,” McEntire said in a statement. “I’ve held a lot of roles in my life — sort of like the Colonel himself — but this is certainly the most unique one yet.”
As for the company they said they aren’t really doing anything different from before, that their stance on the subject remains identical from the beginning.
“We’ve always maintained that anyone, male or female, who embodies the spirit of the colonel is qualified to play the iconic role,” KFC spokesperson told Newsweek. “We were looking for a country music legend who shares the values of the Colonel, a showperson through and through, and a lover of fried chicken with plenty of Southern charm to boot. Reba was a perfect choice.”
But many see it as KFC trying to make a political statement and sliding in on the coattails of the #MeToo movement.
Maybe not quite the same fit as the late Colonel Sanders. He was in a league of his own since there were reports of him being sexist. According to a personal profile written in the New Yorker which described Sanders as making derogatory remarks about some women. Writing…
He knocks them dead with his flattery, but if you get close enough to him in a crowd you can hear him muttering a running commentary to himself: “Umm, that gal’s let herself go. . . . Look at the size of that one. . . . I don’t know when I’ve seen so many fat ones. . . . Lord, look at ’em waddle.”
As for me, I think having Reba play the Sanders is a stroke of genius. The commercial is funny and lighthearted. But unlike the KFC spokesperson, I think the move was more political. Or to be more accurate politically correct, but at least it was entertaining.