The backlash stems from a viral tweet that claims Chick-fil-A “just hired” a vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I).
“This is bad. Very bad. I don’t want to have to boycott. Are we going to have to boycott?” Twitter user Joey Mannarino wrote in the viral tweet with millions of views.
DE&I generally refers to values and initiatives that companies follow to support people of different races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders and sexual orientations.
At least one news article has also claimed that the company recently announced it hired Erick McReynolds as its vice president of DE&I.
Is Chick-fil-A’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion a new hire?
No, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion is not a new hire.
WHAT WE FOUND
Erick McReynolds, who serves as the vice president of DE&I at Chick-fil-A, is not a new hire. He has been in the position for at least a year and a half.
His resume on LinkedIn shows that he has worked with the company since 2007. He was named executive director of DE&I in July 2020 and began his current role in November 2021, according to his page.
McReynolds also spoke at Clayton State University’s fall 2022 commencement ceremony. The university located outside of Atlanta, where McReynolds sits on the Board of Trustees, also identified him as a “vice president with Chick-fil-A, Inc., leading Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DE&I).”
Chick-fil-A says on its website that the company’s “commitment to Being Better at Together means embedding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into everything we do,” including focuses on ensuring equal access, valuing differences and creating a culture of belonging.
“Chick-fil-A restaurants have long been recognized as a place where people know they will be treated well,” McReynolds says on the company’s DE&I website. “Modeling care for others starts in the restaurant, and we are committed to ensuring mutual respect, understanding and dignity everywhere we do business. These tenets are good business practice and crucial to fulfilling our Corporate Purpose.”
The company did not provide a statement in response to the online claims by the time of publication.