McDonald’s denies that its recent partnerships with celebrities have any connection with recent racial discrimination lawsuits filed against the company.
Last week, a historian told Vice that the two recent lawsuits – filed in January and September – could have encouraged the fast food chain to partner with rapper Travis Scott and Colombian singer J Balvin as a way to save the face with customers of color.
However, a McDonald’s spokesperson told Fox News that such claims are unfounded, largely because partnerships with Scott and Balvin were underway before the lawsuits were filed.
According to the spokesperson, the partnerships took months to finalize and both were inspired by a Super Bowl commercial that McDonald̵
McDonald’s announced its partnership with Scott in September and its partnership with Balvin last week.
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The first discrimination lawsuit, filed in January by two Black McDonald’s executives, claims that they were demoted due to their race and that there was a hostile work environment for black executives.
The second lawsuit, filed in September by 52 former Black franchise owners, claims McDonald’s pushed them to run franchises in “depressed and crime-stricken neighborhoods” and set them up for failure, Reuters reported.
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In Vice’s article, which was published Thursday, Marcia Chatelain, a professor of African American history and studies at Georgetown University, said McDonald’s could have partnered with Scott in response to those lawsuits.
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“[I] I wonder if the decision to move forward with this collaboration was a response not only to criticism from black franchisees for their treatment within the McDonald’s system, but to the pressures they faced following racial discrimination allegations. at the company’s headquarters, “Chatelain, who wrote” Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, “told Vice.
“This probably started a collaborative process with Travis Scott, if it didn’t necessarily inspire him,” he added.
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In a statement sent to Fox News, McDonald’s claimed those claims are “completely false”.
“Any claims that McDonald’s partnership with Travis Scott was launched in response to a recent litigation is completely false,” the company said. “We partnered with Travis – and our new celebrity partner, J Balvin – for their love of the McDonald’s brand, their widespread appeal and their loyal following among our younger customers and our crew.”
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“As far as litigation is concerned, these allegations go against everything we stand for as an organization and as community partners and small business owners around the world,” the company added. “Not only do we categorically deny the allegations, but we are confident that the facts will show how committed we are to the diversity and equal opportunities of the McDonald’s system, including among our affiliates, suppliers and employees.”
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