Oprah, KFC, at the Center of a Chicken Storm

With a coupon giveaway for a free KFC grilled chicken meal on her website, Oprah Winfrey has unwittingly unleashed a firestorm.

Kentucky-grilled-chicken On the one hand, the giveaway was so popular that it appears to have created a run on grilled chicken at some of the fast food chain's outlets, angering free food seekers. KFC has denied reports that any riots occurred, but has acknowledged that it had to turn away disgruntled coupon-holders: "Some customers were upset because they couldn't get their chicken, but there was no riot," said Laurie Schalow, a KFC spokesperson.

Interestingly, Oprah's move is also earning the ire of those who wouldn't likely dine at KFC under any condition, coupon or not. This group of critics, opponents of factory farming, say that Oprah was wrong to endorse a fast food chain that buys its meat from Tyson, the giant chicken processor.

"Oprah needs to get serious ball-busting for giving away KFC!" tweeted Paula Crossfield, managing editor of the website Civil Eats.

She further called Winfrey "hypocritical" for embracing KFC:

Perhaps it was all just too much, too kind and too ahead of the curve, all that work she had done recently to expose what truly goes on for chickens and other animals in the factory farm setting. Because now Oprah has decided to bolster one of America’s worst offenders when it comes to support for factory farming, KFC, by giving away two pieces of chicken to every human in America.

"It may seem harmless: a mass market “they want it, so I’m giving it to them” kind of campaign. But because Oprah has marketed herself as one who cares about animals, even getting a “Person of the Year” award last year from PETA, this KFC campaign is a serious disappointment to say the least."

It ws a call to arms, as like-minded critics quickly started voicing their opposition to Winfrey using the Twitter hashtag #oprahkfc.

Stepping back from the fracas, New York Times food reporter Kim Severson tweeted this observation about the KFC kerfuffle: "How many people crawling up Oprah's pantsuit about the KFC grilled chicken have tasted it? It's contempt without investigation, friends."



My husband, sitting next to me and looking over my shoulder as I read this story to him, replies "so, where can we get one of those coupons? I'd like to try that grilled chicken!"

And, there you have it.

To Paula Crossfield, and her followers out there: Let's stop crucifying Oprah, shall we? It's a tough economy, and she's giving away free food. What have you done to feed the hungry humans, lately? Hmmm...?


~ Paula


Ummm. Oprah has to widespread of an influence (and she knows it) to be this careless about what she endorses. I'm not crucifying anyone, but she really should have thought this one through. And, if she was interested in getting people fed, how 'bout endorsing farmer's markets (for which people can get food stamp vouchers) and growing your own, or asking people to donate to pantries or encouraging people to take up community gardening.

And by the way, I do help feed people by volunteering my time at our local community garden, which produces tons (that's right, TONS) of fresh, organic produce that goes directly to those that need it, no coupon or factory farms required.


Honestly, no one tripped when Denny's had folks lined up for miles around it's reastaurants on a recent Tuesday, right. And what's the fuss about eating chickens, or was that beef about where and under what conditions the chickens live; see how insane that sounds? So maybe only people who live under the same horrible conditions as chickens should eat them, grilled or fried.


To Jackie: Ok. How can your food reach me and my family? Your food does not get here, Oprah's coupons did. My son and I went to bed without eating that day because my feet, back and legs were hurting so much I couldn't walk to the nearest KFC. I no longer have a car, and wouldn't be able to pay for gas, anyway. Now I can get a raincheck, but I missed out a great meal. If you have EVER been hungry, you know: that would be a GREAT MEAL for anybody who is H.U.N.G.R.Y. BTW, I would LOOVE ME some fresh, organic produce! Unfortunately, I can't afford it. How is some of all those TONS going to reach my family?
(And to the vegetarians, just say no thank you to the chicken and get the cole slaw, potatoes and biscuit. If you don't want them, give them to someone in need, don't be spoiled, selfish and unaware of the financial and social situation that surrounds you).


To Barbara: Repeating your words here: "My son and I went to bed without eating that day because my feet, back and legs were hurting so much I couldn't walk to the nearest KFC. I no longer have a car, and wouldn't be able to pay for gas, anyway." My question is this...How can you afford internet and a computer but not food? Not that I care, but I would think maybe getting a job doing pc work at home might be a start....youu know...to BUY FOOD!


Who is actually footing the bill for this free factory food? Oprah? or KFC?


I think it was totally wrong of Oprah to misuse her influence to promote this garbage disguised as chicken. Aside from the factory farming issue, it's very unhealthy. It contains MSG and trans-fat among other unhealthy ingredients. Here's a detailed discussion of why KFC's grilled chicken is unhealthy.


free greasy chicken is usually a good thing, but i hesitate to stand in line for an hour to save five bucks


this is for mikki i was wondering and askng my classmate the same thing how is that you can get on pc to comment abt the kfc coupon. not here to judge but you and other people like you need to think b4 you comment.


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