Ethics-Challenged Food Writer Says Chick-fil-A’s Anti-Gay Agenda Shouldn’t Matter To Customers

In a recent opinion piece in Time magazine, noted food writer Josh Ozersky took a strange stance on Chick-fil-A’s notorious affiliation with anti-gay groups: He stood up for the fast-food chain and said he wouldn’t join any boycott of its artery-clogging fried chicken sandwiches.

Chick-fil-A, the fast-food outlet, has one plane of interaction with the public: its sandwiches, sodas and waffle fries. The prices are fair, its employment practices not onerous, and the food is good, especially if you are as devoted to MSG as I am. You could make a strong argument that the suffering their chickens endure prior to becoming sandwiches constitutes a kind of original sin; and that’s something you have to think about. But businesses should be judged by their products and practices, not by their politics…

Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation gives money to theocratic organizations that I consider malevolent. Objecting to gay marriage is, at least in my view, indefensible in a free society, but it’s only a small part of these groups’ agendas.

But they have a right to exist, and American businesses have a right to donate to them. Customers, in turn, have a right to boycott them. But, just as with JC Penney and DeGeneres, it doesn’t seem fair to me… When I was a kid, it was taken for granted that Jews should never drive Fords or go to Disney World, since both Ford and Disney were notoriously anti-Semitic. My father’s reasoning was that, since everyone back then was anti-Semitic, picking on Ford and Disney was arbitrary and pointless….

Businesses should be judged on what they do — to their customers, their employees, their suppliers and their chickens—and not on what they do with their profits. That’s part of living in a free society too.

Since Mr. Ozersky has won a James Beard Award for his writing, we’re going to assume he’s being disingenuous and not just thick.

Nobody can—or should—completely separate a business from its public policy: If McDonald’s was paying the legal fees for accused child molester Jerry Sandusky or Burger King was donating to an Adolf Hitler shrine in Cleveland wouldn’t that have some bearing on your decision whether or not to patronize them?

Ozerksy is saying its none of our business that Chick-fil-a gives more than $1.1 million dollars to anti-marriage-equality groups and reparative-therapy organizations. But isn’t that just because gay rights isn’t that important to him?

What if Chick-fil-a was trying to outlaw divorce? Ozerksy is on his second marriage, so you can imagine he’d have more of a stake in a boycott then.

And if, as he says, we can judge a company on its employee practices, what about the fact that Chick-fil-A routinely asks potential franchisees and employees about their marital status and religious affiliations?

What about the chain’s gay employees: What kind of inhospitable work environment can they be facing?

Well, maybe Ozersky is just the wrong guy to speak about business ethics: He was roundly criticized in 2010 for writing about his wedding without disclosing that the superstar chefs involved donated their services and food.

Yep, he pulled a total Star Jones. (And apparently it’s not the first time for him)

Maybe Chick-fil-A bribed Ozersky with cases of waffle fries in return for this op-ed. Judging from his appearance, it sure looks that way.



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  • Pat Duffy

    Our local aids org used them for their client lunches and being hiv- Hets didn’t think, like the writer it was “a big deal”. I stopped going…

  • James Arnold

    I used to work for a Chick-fil-A, I live in an extremely bigoted backwater so its not surprising that I face some problems, I usually keep my sexuality under wraps when I can, but I’ve never had more openly hateful and sudo-religious bashing from more managers in one restaurant than I’ve seen there. We used have an older gay veteran couple that comes in to eat with their friends every Friday, usually wearing cheesy matching sweaters. They overheard a heated argument between two of our managers about whether they should be told to leave. The group left after some choice words to the managers in question and as far as I know never came back

    Later someone who knew me from high school got hired and outed me and I randomly lost virtually all my hours. Had I known the whole franchise was sour and not just our managers, I would have never even forced myself to work there.

  • jason

    You can obviously tell that Josh Ozersky has been eating Shit-fil-A….and lots of it.

  • xamthor

    One of the MOST powerful things you can do in a capitalistic society….. is spend your money.
    Your vote may or may not count anymore…. but your dollar does.
    Your senator may not represent you anymore, but your wallet does.

    Don’t buy things you don’t need. And for the things you DO need; spend wisely.
    IS this the sort of business model you should be supporting?

  • T.C.

    I’ll still eat there and so will most LGBT people.

  • cwm

    most LGBT people have better sense (and better taste, in every sense of the word)

    Chik-fil-A are immensely popular among the types of Christians who believe they’re the mainstream but have difficulty naming any other denomination (except maybe the Westboro Baptist Church) as overly literalist fundamentalist theocrats.

    Would you like fries with your eternal damnation?

  • ChrisC

    @T.C.: That’s because you’re a sell-out.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @ChrisC: Sell-out isn’t the correct term; he’s just stupid. Clearly, homophobes do not have a monopoly on stupidity.

  • the crustybastard

    Were he writing in 1960, no doubt he would have written a nice piece about the Woolworth’s lunch counter:

    “While it’s true they refuse to serve negros, the food is delicious and fairly priced, and Woolworth’s treats their white employees and customers wonderfully, so I will continue to patronize them. Businesses should be judged by their products and practices, not by their politics.”

    I reckon Mr. “I Understand Discrimination, I’m a Jew” would have a different opinion if these deep-fried dipshits were filling bellies gratis at Holocaust denial conferences around the country.

  • Matthew Rettenmund

    His argument is completely intellectually indefensible. the crustybastard’s examples are exactly correct.

    This food writer needs to be reminded that there are more important things in life than stuffing one’s face with whatever one deems to be good food, and that there are, in fact, a myriad of choices people should consider when confronted with a company as vile as Chik-Fil-A.

  • Johnny Quest

    @the crustybastard: Oh Jesus Christ yes, donating to anti-gay groups is EXACTLY like having segregated lunch counters. Your ethical compass is obviously calibrated to point exactly to Magnetic “WHAT?!” pretty reliably.

    I am so sick and tired of the bully pulpit being the only weapon in the gay community’s arsenal. Do you really think guilting these people into submission is going to magically brainwash people into being accepted? No. It’s going to make it go away for a while, then surface again as something far more insidious, as we’ve seen time and again with race relations, women’s rights, religious “tolerance,” and just about everything in the liberal agenda. We’re not having a real discussion, because we never stop whining. If I could turn my card in, I would. Communists were so much luckier than gays.

  • randy

    Any food writer who thinks that this place serves good food is in idiot, or he’s pandering to the masses. Sorry, but fast food is NOT good food, nor is it good for you, nor is it good for the planet. Why is anyone even listening to such a ignorant person?

  • the crustybastard

    @Johnny Quest:

    So your point is that no comparison, metaphor or simile is apt unless the the two things are EXACTLY like each other?

    What a unique and idiotic perspective. I feel sad for your teachers.

    Please do turn in your card, then go sit in the corner, dumbass.

  • Ogre Magi


  • MEJ

    Maybe Chick-fil-A bribed Ozersky with cases of waffle fries in return for this op-ed.

    You may have included that as a joke, Dan, but it may be true. Years ago John Stossel used his spot on 20/20 to do a report on low carb diets. He said they were bad, and high carb diets were good. Turns out he had been paid six figures to give a “talk” to some organization representing American wheat farmers, just about the time his “unbiased” report appeared on 20/20.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Mr. Ozersky had been given some kind of “consideration” for his article.

  • roger

    he may not think its a big deal but i do, i cant stop businesses from contritbuing to groups that would keep me a second class citizen but i do controll my money and they wont get it. never been impressed with their food anyway. sadly too many people let their big bellies over rule their brains.

  • Bryan Irrera

    @ChrisC: Thank you. My sentiments exactly. We wouldn’t patronize KKK Chicken or Nazi Chicken so why would we want to patronize Homophobic businesses?

  • Joe stratford

    He loves his chicken. I see and treat him like the people who defended the so called hot hockey player. There are too many shallow gays here in Queerty who are willing to give homophobes a pass just because they are Caucasian, hot or “Christian”. These gays I have no respect for. And if they get mistreated because they are gay, they deserve it.

  • hyhybt

    @randy: It’s relative. *As fast food goes,* Chick-fil-A is good. If you like the sort of things they have (and most people do) then theirs is better than most. I don’t boycott them either; not because I think it’s OK, but because I’m weak and love their nuggets too much. Nothing else is like them. But I go about 1/4 as often as I used to.

  • Oh, ok.

    @James Arnold: And yet you didn’t sue, nor did the couple. Your story sounds entirely made up. In this day in age smart phones aplenty you would’ve had more than enough evidence.

    Chic Fil A does not refuse to serve gay patrons, fire gay patrons, or take issue with gay patrons. Donating to whatever group the owner wants is his right as an American. Just like we gay people have the right as Americans to start and fund our own campaigns rather than whining and crying.

    I see a lot of people commenting about how this is like the fight for civil rights(which it is not), but in the fight for civil rights people actually fought back with real protests. Times have changed and you can protest with money.

    So put your money where your mouth is instead of putting tape over it and taking a cheesy picture for the internet. Make a real campaign that is clear and gets your point across to people who may not even know what the issues even are.

    But that would require you to do something other than refuse to shop at a business that will continue to make plenty of revenue without you. If a business doesn’t even notice you’re boycotting then it’s really not boycotting.

    During the fight for actual civil rights black people went to the businesses and lunch counters that refused them and sat down inside making it known why they were there. They refused to leave while being spat on and having food dumped and smashed all over them. It’s quite offensive to spin such an historic event around and apply it to yourselves when gay people come in all colors. You have no idea what black people went through in this country and should educate yourselves and then see that it is indeed not even close to the same.

    You can at least be proactive like them if you want to pretend you’re fighting for your rights and take it outside rather than bitching at home online. Hell even the Occupy Wall Street kids came closer to looking a little like Civil Rights protesters than you do.

  • Blahqula

    When are we going to admit that the South is a culture and way of life that lives for apologizing at the expense of others. “I’m sorry if I saw you’re gay, flapped my fat jowls for mono cultural death by obesity and you took it to mean I think you’re a faggot that doesn’t taste as good as peon babies in fried lard”.

    That’s the culture there, it’s the only culture there, and anything you introduce to these human cattle will be reduced to that for self serving reasons ranging from, ” I LIKE to beat my wife, she’s weaker than me” to “pastor Diddlybugger is a black man, his pandering is just when screaming it at the dead body of his broken neighbors, you should shut up and pass the subsidy checks, yankee”. It’s a box, thinking outside of it only makes you the enemy with these people.

  • Liz

    Honestly, I agree with the majority of this article. I don’t really eat fast food, but knowing this, I definitely won’t eat there. The bigger issue for me is the end of this article. “Maybe Chick-fil-A bribed Ozersky with cases of waffle fries in return for this op-ed. Judging from his appearance, it sure looks that way.” Really? What a horrible way to make your point, attacking him based on appearance rather than what he said. I thought we learned that you don’t fight hate with hate. I expected more from you guys.

  • DB

    @T.C.: most LGBT people will still eat there? really?

    speak for yourself. perhaps the log cabins will, but most LGBT people I know aren’t that self-loathing to turn their back on their rights for a crappy, white trash chicken sandwich.

  • Icky

    Ok man i understand why people would be pissed off about this, however its a chicken shack and nothing more. Don’t we have bigger issues to worry about? Why not bask in the victories the LGBT have achieved then worry about some fast food place. Gay marriage is being voted on. Don’t ask don’t tell has been repealed, have you ever thought that shit was going to happen. Christ on a cracker enjoy the moment, because sure as shit they are going to try to pull some other shit while we are worrying about this crap.

  • hyhybt

    @Blahqula: Much of what you say makes no sense. Which, considering the content of the rest, is perhaps a blessing.

  • the other Greg

    His father probably meant something more like: Since the deaths of Henry Ford and Walt Disney, the Ford and Disney companies haven’t been funding any anti-Semitic activities.

    Is Chik-Fil-A funding anti-gay activities RIGHT NOW? Yeah. So the analogy doesn’t hold up.

  • B

    o. 7 · ChrisC wrote, “@T.C.: That’s because you’re a sell-out.” The real question is how T.C. can eat there and keep a six pack (assuming he has/had a six pack).

  • Blahqula

    Wearing one’s id on one’s sleeve indeed makes perfect sense. Complete with sentence fragments, it’s the thesis of an entire worldview, or haven’t you been paying attention to the culture wars for the last 40 years? Speaking of id, some prissy missive is just lacking these days hon. Getting a pair of tortise shell frames and chiming in with “hmmmmm..” is played.

  • Scott Rose

    @Johnny Quest: You are a foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic and must seek the assistance of a competent mental health professional ASAP

  • David C

    @T.C.: Please don’t generalize on behalf of the whole LGBT community. I stopped eating there YEARS ago as have most of my friends. And those few friends that haven’t stopped eating there get regular reminders of why they should not.

  • the other Greg

    There have been some posts about businesses in the Jim Crow era “refusing” to serve blacks. This is a misconception because in most cases it was prohibited by local LAWS and was not the choice of the businesses, which often were not fans of the laws. Woolworth’s, for instance, would have been breaking the law in certain Southern locales if it had seated blacks (which it did everywhere else).

    True, Chick-Fil-A isn’t refusing to take anyone’s money, isn’t actually banning us from buying their food – but that’s probably because if they tried that, post-1960s law wouldn’t let them.

  • David C

    I also find it a little disconcerting and insulting that Mr. Ozersky puts the treatment of the chickens above the the treatments and rights of people. Animal-cruelty is an acceptable reason to boycott Chik-fil-a however promoting bigotry, intolerance, bad-science, and hate is not.

    Yeah, still not eating there.

  • nikko

    @T.C.: Are you proud of that, stupid? What, you think your arrogance is funny?

  • Abel

    I actually like Chik-fil-A’s food. It seems to me tastier than any other fast food chicken place. But since I found out their policies, I have not eaten there, nor will I ever eat there again as long as their policies are in place. Yeah, I miss it, but there are plenty of other places to eat. None of my extended family will eat there either, at my request.

  • Shannon1981

    @T.C.: No, most LGBT people won’t go anywhere near the place. Just because you have no self respect doesn’t mean the majority of us don’t.

  • jj

    It takes willpower, but I dont eat there anymore. Chipotle all the way!

  • Bill Armstrong

    Exactly. Well said. I will continue my boycott.

  • Johnny Quest

    @the crustybastard: No it’s called having perspective. For you to compare your “suffering” at the hands of Chick-fil-A to the widespread and institutionalized disenfranchisement of millions of black Americans is what’s idiotic. But enjoy the echo chamber you’ve got here.

  • Truth

    @ Johnny Quest Unless you are old enough to have been protesting at those lunch counters, STFU.

  • Fitz

    Meh.. for me it’s more personal.
    I don’t go to places where I’m not welcomed.
    I wouldn’t enjoy eating there, if I even ate that kind of stuff.
    I don’t think it’s worth getting my picket signs out…
    I’ll just choose to be someplace that’s more pleasant.

  • Caliban

    For what it is, fast food chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, Chik-fil-A is quite good. I like Chik-fil-A’s food. There, I said it.

    I also haven’t eaten there in years, maybe as long as a decade, due to their religious/political stance on gay rights and other issues. When you’re willing to sell out your ethics for a chicken sandwich then your ethical stances are nothing worth mentioning anyway, a waste of your time and everyone elses when you abandon them so cheaply. Giving something up you don’t like to begin with says very little. Being unwilling to give something up you do like, even when you are SURROUNDED (as Ozersky is with restaurants in NYC) by 1000s of other options says quite a lot. Why even pretend to have a ethical stance on something when it’s so clear it’s at best a pose, not even skin deep?

  • David Ehrenstein

    @MEJ: Stossel, before he joing FAUX News did a report on ABC in which he “proved” that Matthew Shepherd’s muder was a “drug deal gone worng,” not a homophobic sluaghter.

    He is beneath contempt.

  • mylife

    Just because Chick-fil-a has a “preference” against gays, doesn’t make them bigots. It’s just a “preference.” You boys need to understand that.

  • InscrutableTed

    “Since Mr. Ozersky has won a James Beard Award for his writing, we’re going to assume he’s being disingenuous and not just thick.”

    Right, because a smart person couldn’t possibly hold a different opinion from you, Queerty.


  • Tom

    Considering that recognized hate group Focus on The Family has distributed cassettes and CDs in CHILDRENS MEALS at Chik Fil A is enough reason to boycott Chik Fil A. They are using their business to actively promote a bigotry against LGBTQ groups and others.

    It would be the same if Pizza Hut gave out copies of Turner Diaries with a large pizza.

  • prettygirls

    T’ha. I didn’t know ppl still ate at “chix-fil-et”. There chicken sandwiches are dry as hell and there waffles fries leave me bloated.

  • prettygirls

    *@prettygirls: Correction * Their, and their. See just thinking about that garbage gives me brain farts.

  • ChristopherM

    @Oh, ok.: Are you too stupid to realize that suing isn’t an option in most states because what they did to these customers and employee is perfectly legal?

  • Oh, ok.

    @ChristopherM: Are you too stupid to realize you’re better off not working for someone who would fire you based on sexual orientation?

  • hyhybt

    @Oh, ok.: That depends. Sometimes “not working for someone who would fire you based on sexual orientation” means not working, period.

  • ChristopherM

    @Oh, ok.: Way to change topics.



  • Oh, ok.

    @ChristopherM: Way to get defensive on the internet.

  • Akula

    I don’t eat at dumps like that because I enjoy my blood flowing freely through my veins I do hope the people that do eat there enjoy their cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and obesity.

  • BobP

    Then don’t complain when your rights are taken away from you, asshole.

  • BobP

    Then don’t complain when your rights are taken away, asshole.

  • I

    No wonder gay rights take so long to progress. Your money is being given to organizations which are againt your rights and you don’t care? It doesn’t matter? How messed you are you people? Why such apathy?

  • 13Zeroither

    so for now, we should avoid them until they become lgbt friendly, right? (not the kind when my sister said she’s ‘okay with homosexuals’, but she won’t acknowlegde my boyfriend, refuses to invite him to parties with me even though everyone else can bring their boyfriend/girlfriend, or when he makes food she won’t eat it. And she wonders why I get mad at her.)

Comments are closed.