McDonald’s – the fast-food chain that sells children Happy Meals – is a major sponsor of Fox Broadcasting’s raunchy cartoon Family Guy, a program which revels in “jokes” about sexually assaulting children, and has an admitted pedophile as a main character.
In recent weeks, the PTC has urged McDonald’s to regain the trust of parents and families by refusing to sponsor such content, even writing to the chain’s new Chief Global Communications Officer, Robert Gibbs, asking the Golden Arches to act more responsibly. As of this writing, McDonald’s has not responded to our repeated attempts at dialogue.
But it’s a different story in Canada. Last week, a Canadian concerned parent and member of the PTC forwarded an email exchange she had with McDonald’s headquarters in that country on the subject of Family Guy. The response of McDonald’s Canada was as follows:
Thank you for sharing your perspective on Family Guy. The opinions of our guests are very important to us, and we appreciate your feedback.
McDonald’s Canada has, on occasion, run advertisements during the program. Based on the concerns you have brought to our attention, the Marketing team have made the decision not to purchase advertising space during this program in the future.
Again, thank you for contacting McDonald’s and for making us aware of your opinion. We look forward to having the opportunity and pleasure of serving you under the golden arches in the future.
The contrast between McDonald’s Canada’s friendliness, openness to customer input, and demonstration of corporate responsibility, and American McDonald’s stony indifference to the same, is startling…and more than a little sad. For generations, McDonald’s was a favorite of children in America – and the company treasured that connection, and understood the importance of being a family-friendly destination. Clearly, the company’s Canadian branch still does; but in America, McDonald’s apparently values jokes about molesting children over having children for customers.