Burger King Austria’s new ‘Pride Whopper’ is causing controversy
(NEXSTAR) — Burger King Austria’s new Pride Month campaign is either top-notch or bottom-of-the-barrel, depending on who you ask.
Earlier this month, the company’s Austrian franchisees debuted a limited-time Pride Whopper which is essentially the same as a regular Whopper, but sandwiched between two top buns or two bottom buns, rather than a top and a bottom bun, like a traditional Whopper.
The idea of using “equal buns” on each Pride Whopper, according to Burger King Austria, is representative of “equal love and equal rights,” the company explained on Instagram.
“Of course, this doesn’t just mean same-sex love,” BK Austria added on its official Pride Whopper webpage. “The PRIDE WHOPPER® breaded the same way symbolizes all possible love constellations. Because love is love.”
The campaign immediately raised eyebrows across the Internet, where some assumed Burger King was attempting to make “a joke about two tops or two bottoms,” as Mey Rude of Out magazine put it. Plenty of users on social media also appeared confused as to Burger King’s intentions, a few of whom suggested that BK Austria was merely “Pride-washing” or “rainbow-washing” — i.e., using Pride Month as an opportunity for marketing, rather than actually supporting a cause.
“Capitalism, but make it woke,” one user commented on Instagram.
Burger King Austria responded to users who asked whether the company was donating any of its profits to LGBTQIA+ organizations, but rather reiterated that BK Austria was “official partners with Vienna Pride.” On the official website, BK Austria added that its newest campaign aligns with its “corporate values, which stand for equal opportunities and individuality of our hundreds of employees throughout Austria all year round.”
Others on social media simply found it funny.
“Y’all are complaining but this is lowkey funny,” one user wrote.
Burger King Austria and Restaurant Brands International, Burger King’s parent company, did not respond to requests for further comment, although the former wrote that its Pride Whopper was created, in part, to “put a smile” on customers’ faces.
The Pride Whopper is available at Burger King Austria locations through June 20. Customers cannot choose which version — two tops or two bottoms — they will receive, according to the company.