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Oprah's Chicken Giveaway : Philanthropy or Hypocrisy?

Oprah's Chicken Giveaway : Philanthropy or Hypocrisy?

In light of our current financial predicament Oprah Winfrey has decided to do a little something for everyone.  Winfrey announced recently that she, along with KFC, would put some dinner on every table across the country. 

The special promotion allows anyone to sign onto Winfrey’s website between May 5th and 6th and print out a coupon which is good for a 2-piece grilled chicken meal.   Though a free meal is probably a very helpful bonus for families suffering job losses, many are now criticizing Winfrey for her recent KFC promotion.  Most of the criticism is coming from various animal rights group. 

Apparently, the Tyson company is the main supplier of chicken to KFC.  According to a recent article from U.S. News and World Report, Tyson is known to use “controlled animal feeding operations (CAFOs) ? dark and tightly-packed coops where the chickens are often unable to stand up or move.  Many would consider this practice as a type of “factory farming”. 

PETA is expected to show their disappointment with Winfrey’s latest promotional partnership with KFC.  PETA recently honored Winfrey with their 2008 “Person of the Year” award.  After Winfrey devoted an entire episode of her talk show to uncovering the abuse that goes on using “factory farming” techniques PETA’s president, Ingrid E. Newkirk, was quoted as saying that Winfrey used her “powerful voice to defend those without one.” 

On top of harsh criticism from animal rights activists, it is also being reported that due to heavy web traffic many people have had trouble obtaining the coupons.  And redeeming them in the stores has been tough for some as well.

What do you think of the controversy surrounding Oprah Winfrey’s decision to offer free KFC meals nationwide?

Do you think the criticism coming from animal rights groups is warranted?

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  • LetMeTellYou By LetMeTellYou
    05.09.09  

    I didn't see the show but I did print and taste the chicken. The chicken was good enough but not something I would rush out to pay for.

  • JBallantine By JBallantine
    05.11.09  

    Honestly, PETA would be happy if every person on this planet ceased to exist so that the animals could run free. However, PETA itself is just as bad as other organizations. They hype things that are untrue and they themselves have put animals down in their shelters. I am all for not abusing animals but honestly - We are omnivores people.. we eat meat AND veggies. This was just a big campaign by KFC and they paid Oprah a lot of money to be their spokesperson for a day. I got the coupons and had the meal. I prefer the fried KFC over the grilled any day.

  • Joyfulmom4 By Joyfulmom4
    05.11.09  

    Well, since the deal has been withdrawn anyway (they're not honoring it anymore, but will send out a "rain check" to those who go to the trouble of goign to the store, getting rain check coupons and mailing them in to get a new raincheck coupon) I have a hard time feeling the love in this philantropic gesture.

  • susanluv By susanluv
    05.11.09  

    I think that the whole thing was a scam on the part of KFC. Did they seriously think there wouldn't be a demand for this offer? Now we have to walk into a KFC just to receive a form to mail in (the postage makes it no longer free) to receive our "free" meal. What they want to do is get you in under the pretense that you are receiving a free meal only to find out you're not so because you are already there you buy your lunch, dinner etc and then maybe if you remember to send in for your raincheck you can have a free meal in the next 6 - 8 weeks. What a joke!!

  • DEXTERBUZZ By DEXTERBUZZ
    05.11.09  

    i think the food would have been better to have sent to a food bank or shelter for people who can't afford it - let's face it Oprah got the stuff free from KFC just for mentioning it on her show - how about donating the food KFC/Oprah - poor choice on their part.

  • mchavezrey By mchavezrey
    05.11.09  

    I'm sure KFC is hoping people don't take the time to go to the store and pick up a raincheck! Anyway, it was a nice thought and I'm sure there are more folks out there with unusable coupons then those who actually received the free meal. Bummer I'm one of those who didn't get in on it but has a coupon! I'm sure hope Oprah is getting a ton of e-mail on this one!! Poor judgement on Oprah's part and this one folks will not soon forget!

  • MomSpotted By MomSpotted
    05.11.09  

    :( I was never able to print the coupon and tried several times. Um, if she's trying to feed people who need a meal why not offer a healthier option? I agree, Oprah never gave anyone anything except a bit of PR (for this event anyways)

  • sjw414 By sjw414
    05.12.09  

    I printed my coupon with out a problem, i think she was trying to do a good thing. The follow up show stated that people gave coupons to the homeless, how can you criticize that?

  • KarenMN By KarenMN
    05.12.09  

    My only question is: How did the people in need print these coupons? I'm doubting that very many needy people have access to a printer or a computer. Heck! They might not even have access to a TV to view the Oprah show and even find out about this freebie! Don't get me wrong, I think it was nice of Oprah to offer us a free meal but, it would have been nicer to offer it to people that really need the handouts.

  • wgoddard By wgoddard
    05.12.09  

    Oprah could have easily lent her support to something that would not have promoted agribusiness and that was far healthier.

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