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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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  • Mammakin76 By Mammakin76
    05.19.09  

    I don't watch Oprah, so I missed the whole story on this. As others stated, food should have also been donated to shelters for those who don;t have acess to computers. I think that KFC was right in giving away a free meal- I mean I have money to pay for one, but do I spend it eating out- NO.. I can use it else where for my household. I believe Oprah is the most dangerous women in America and people need to wake up and stop "following" her- she is on the band wagon with anything that gets her pockets lined more!

  • Litesugar By Litesugar
    05.19.09  

    I think that it was a great idea that was handled poorly by KFC. Like Oprah said, what did they think was going to happen when they announced the offer on her show? I went into KFC to get the mail in rebate and was going to buy lunch since I was there. My goodness, you need a coupon in there. The prices are astronomical!! I left after getting the rebate form and went to more reasonable sister chain, Taco Bell.

  • teeniemarie By teeniemarie
    05.21.09  

    Go Oprah! I also printed the coupon (did have problems printing it as well) but in this economy who is going to turn down a free meal. Everyone is always so quick to criticize Oprah....

  • bensmom122 By bensmom122
    05.21.09  

    Peta doesnt like KFC in general. I doubt it would make a difference where their chicken comes from. Oprah & KFC tried to do a very nice thing, but didnt think through the consequences very well. If this had been done two years ago, they woudnt have had that mess. Thankfully, KFC didnt renig on their offer all together & offered rainchecks which turned out to be an even better offer (they included a free drink). Yes, I did get the raincheck & I did eat there, but I was going to be eating out anyway & frankly, Id rather have KFC than burgers & fries any day. Id rather see a misguided attempt at helping someone, than no attempt at all.

  • robynlong By robynlong
    05.22.09  

    I say great job Oprah! but in my town there were so many people going to our KFC that they stopped doing it. I did print the coupons, but never got to use them. Later on I heard they gave rainchecks but I miss out. I am glad that so many people in my community got the chance to use the coupons! KFC is one of my favorite places to eat!!

  • jrjackson By jrjackson
    05.22.09  

    PETA and KFC have a long standing feud....and I think that with PETA giving Oprah the award they did, perhaps Oprah should have considered the backlash she would get from the public after endorsing something like this. It's not like she doesn't have the money to set up free meals at another establishment that treats it's animals humanely....

  • amanda1010 By amanda1010
    05.22.09  

    No matter who you are or what you are doing, someone will always have something negative to say about it. Oprah & KFC tried to do a nice thing. If you don't like the way KFC conducts it's raising of chickens, then don't eat there. Leave everyone else alone.

  • spidermonkey511 By spidermonkey511
    05.22.09  

    we appreciated the coupon. Being able to save a little is nice and don't think that PETA should be so upset. Then again anytime someone does something good there is always someone there ready to complain.

  • jallen9245 By jallen9245
    05.23.09  

    If you don"t agree with how Oprah hearts desire to help in addition to building schools,and other nice things that is not advertised.then each and everyone that does not agree you go out and feed atleast one person in need .

  • dbrew101 By dbrew101
    05.24.09  

    I know somebody who works for KFC . I heard stories of how the employees had to hide in the freezer during the first few days of this promotion , customers were surrounding the building banging on the windows demanding their free chicken. It was a nice idea by Oprah, however I agree the most needy could not print the coupons and the poor planning was a nightmare for employees of KFC.

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