KFC Trinidad and Tobago has issued an apology after an ad it posted on social media to celebrate the end of slavery sparked outrage on Twitter.
On the occasion of Emancipation Day, a public holiday celebrated in several Caribbean countries marking the end of slavery in the British Empire, KFC shared an Instagram post that users have described as "racist" and "insensitive."
Outrage on Social Media
The post shows KFC's famous spicy chicken drumstick with a silhouette
of the Black Power symbol – a clenched fist that represents solidarity with the African-American community and has become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The post, captioned "KFC wishes you a happy Emancipation Day," prompted stinging criticism in the United States where fried chicken remains closely associated with racist stereotypes about black people.
"What better way to commemorate the emancipation of slaves than by pointing out that the Black Power symbol resembles a fried chicken drumstick?," wrote one user. "This is the most racist thing I've seen a corporation do ever, how tone deaf are they?," commented another.
KFC Issues Apology
Shortly after the backlash, KFC Trinidad removed the post and issued a formal apology for any offence caused and said they will review its approval process to avoid future occurrences of such situations.
"At KFC Trinidad, we always strive to recognize our nation's multicultural history and make up, and to play our part recognising it," the company said in its statement on Instagram.
"Our intention was to support and recognise the importance of this historically significant event. We recognise that our posts commemorating Emancipation Day drew some negative responses. Clearly we got it wrong and we want to unreservedly apologise for the offense caused. As a result, we will be reviewing the approval process of all our communications to avoid situations like this reoccurring," the company added.
In a brief statement posted to its Facebook page later in the day, the fastfood restaurant acknowledged that it may have gotten it wrong and apologized for any offence caused.