KFC's Apology For Its Kristallnacht Cheesy Chicken Deal Is Sus

Sometimes an attempt at promotion can hurt a business more than had the business just stayed quiet, especially in cases where sensitivity should be the primary concern. This was displayed by Burger King's infamous "woman belong in the kitchen" tweet on International Woman's Day in 2021 (via Forbes). The tweet, which was meant to be ironic, was followed up with information regarding a females-only scholarship the brand was promoting. Ultimately, the message was lost in translation, leaving the company no choice but to delete it.

KFC is the latest to be scrutinized after people deemed its Kristallnacht message tone-deaf. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Kristallnacht was a two-day period in which violent riots aimed at the Jewish broke out in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. From November 9 to November 10, 1938, 91 Jews were murdered, more than 30,000 men were arrested, and around 7,500 Jewish homes and businesses were destroyed. When you consider the weight of the days' events, you can understand why individuals in Germany weren't happy upon learning of KFC's promotion (via BBC).

The mistake was blamed on a system error

On Wednesday, November 9, a message from KFC rang out to phones in Germany (per BBC). The promotional message read, "It's memorial day for Kristallnacht! Treat yourself with more tender cheese on your crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!" It only took about an hour for KFC to catch the error, in which the chain blamed the mistake on its "internal processes." Upon further investigation, the KFC explained to Newsweek that its automated notification system linked to the calendar event and sent the message without the brand's knowledge. KFC ensured it wouldn't happen again, followed up by, "We understand and respect the gravity and history of this day, and remain committed to equity, inclusion and belonging for all."

However, the blunder runs deeper than that, as the message is potentially offensive on two fronts. As individuals on a related Reddit thread pointed out, cheese and chicken is not kosher, so practicers of the Jewish faith aren't permitted to eat it. As a result of both faults, Reddit users are noticeably mad. "Somebody needs to be fired immediately," one commenter wrote. Even with KFC's apologies, it might be awhile until the brand regains the trust of those affected.