Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy got a lesson in self-inflicted PR disasters when he publicly whined that the Supreme Court DOMA’s decision last year was a “sad day for our nation.” The comments gave fresh fuel to the ongoing campaign against the fast food chain for its policy of funding antigay groups. Now Cathy says he is sorry he made the comments. But he doesn’t say he’s sorry for the comments themselves.
“Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make,” Cathy said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it.”
After you unpack the corporate spin, what you’re left with is a non-apology. Cathy is sorry that he lost business because of his aggressive comments. The shorter version: “Sorry I opened my trap, but I still think I was right.”
And in fact, Cathy says as much in the interview. “I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God’s word and I’m just personally committed to that,” he said. “I know others feel very different from that and I respect their opinion and I hope that they would be respectful of mine.”
The interview is part of a campaign by Chick-fil-A to get the controversy behind them. The company’s foundations have significantly cut back on donating to antigay groups, but the fallout continues. Last month, Pasadena City College announced that it would not support the chain’s plans to open a restaurant across the street from campus because “as a corporation, Chick-fil-A has not shown itself to be supportive of [LGBT] communities.”
Nice to know the corporation is going to back off its antigay policies, but just a reminder: every time someone buys a Chick-fil-A sandwich, it’s still money that’s going into Dan Cathy’s pocket.