The Reason Some People In Egypt Are Calling For A Burger King Boycott

The gigantic ship stuck in the Suez Canal launched a thousand memes. Luckily, after nearly a week, heroic dredgers and tugboaters unstuck the Ever Given, enabling traffic to resume on one of the world's busiest trade routes (via The Washington Post). In memes, the relatable ship represented our procrastinating selves and the enormity of our COVID-19 anxiety (via BuzzFeed). Twitter users have compared navigating the narrow Suez Canal to parallel parking (via Twitter) or carrying a couch down a staircase (via Twitter). But when a fast food chain halfway around the world made a meme showing its huge double hamburger stuck in the canal, for some, the joke just wasn't funny anymore.

Burger King Chile has provoked a call for an international boycott of the chain after posting an aerial view of the Suez Canal on Instagram, with a thick "Whopper Doble" hopelessly wedged in the waterway (via Instagram). Translated from Spanish, the ad's tagline reads, "Maybe we made it too big."

Burger King is having a bad month on social media

Abu Dhabi's English-language newspaper The National reports that a Burger King exec and some marketing professionals praised Burger King Chile's post on social media. After all, BK Chile was just jumping on the already big Suez-meme bandwagon. But the newspaper also notes that the Burger King ad prompted thousands of tweets using the hashtag #BoycottBurgerKing. Twitter user Mohamed Shalaan wrote, "A call to all Arab brothers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman ... a call to everyone who holds Egypt close or even a little love, boycott the Burger King chain," according to The National. Some were put off by the marketing in light of the realities. The Washington Post reports that the ship block caused billions of dollars in losses in global trade.

Some Egyptians were entertained by Burger King Chile's post. "I'm Egyptian and this is SO FUNNY," Salma Useef said on Instagram. Overall, though, when Burger King has tried recently to get a little edgy with its social media posts, they backfire. On March 8, International Women's Day, Burger King UK attempted to draw attention to its culinary scholarship program for women with the tweet, "Women belong in the kitchen." Subsequent tweets explained the context, but backlash led Burger King UK to delete the tweet and apologize (via USA Today).