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Oprah's Chicken Giveaway : Philanthropy or Hypocrisy?

Oprah's Chicken Giveaway : Philanthropy or Hypocrisy?

In light of our current financial predicament Oprah Winfrey has decided to do a little something for everyone.  Winfrey announced recently that she, along with KFC, would put some dinner on every table across the country. 

The special promotion allows anyone to sign onto Winfrey’s website between May 5th and 6th and print out a coupon which is good for a 2-piece grilled chicken meal.   Though a free meal is probably a very helpful bonus for families suffering job losses, many are now criticizing Winfrey for her recent KFC promotion.  Most of the criticism is coming from various animal rights group. 

Apparently, the Tyson company is the main supplier of chicken to KFC.  According to a recent article from U.S. News and World Report, Tyson is known to use “controlled animal feeding operations (CAFOs) ? dark and tightly-packed coops where the chickens are often unable to stand up or move.  Many would consider this practice as a type of “factory farming”. 

PETA is expected to show their disappointment with Winfrey’s latest promotional partnership with KFC.  PETA recently honored Winfrey with their 2008 “Person of the Year” award.  After Winfrey devoted an entire episode of her talk show to uncovering the abuse that goes on using “factory farming” techniques PETA’s president, Ingrid E. Newkirk, was quoted as saying that Winfrey used her “powerful voice to defend those without one.” 

On top of harsh criticism from animal rights activists, it is also being reported that due to heavy web traffic many people have had trouble obtaining the coupons.  And redeeming them in the stores has been tough for some as well.

What do you think of the controversy surrounding Oprah Winfrey’s decision to offer free KFC meals nationwide?

Do you think the criticism coming from animal rights groups is warranted?

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  • annabail By annabail
    05.07.09  

    I saw that show and I also obtained a coupon. Yes, it was hard to get the coupon printed. No, I don't think that the criticism is warranted. I saw the show, but I think in the end, the offer does help some people who need/could use the meal.

  • 2vette2camaro By 2vette2camaro
    05.07.09  

    I think that PETA and other organizations like that are just plain IGNORANT. The economy is in the crapper and you are criticizing Oprah for giving us all a free meal- COME ON!!! Wake up people. Oprah is AWESOME!!!!

  • onlyonetoni By onlyonetoni
    05.07.09  

    Hmmmm.....let people starve to death or "free the chickens"....the human life is priceless. Is it sad what they are doing to the chickens? YES. But at the end of the day, someone who may not have ANY money and is starving will be able to eat a full dinner.

  • honer2 By honer2
    05.07.09  

    Feeding a hungry person, or helping someone out with a meal who is struggling financially is far more important in this world than some chicken. People eat chicken ALL THE TIME and are not critized. There are just those people out there that like to cause drama for no good reason.

  • jemappel By jemappel
    05.07.09  

    First of all, Oprah's not giving anyone a free meal...KFC is funding a promotion and Oprah is being used for the PR. I'm sick of her saying she's giving away stuff when it's really the company and she's just helping them advertise - in fact, she's probably making money for doing it. Second, why are you guys putting down chickens? Can't this be a win-win? Can't Tyson both raise chickens ethically and KFC can also give away free meals? Let's work on being nice to chickens AND helping people eat!

  • jessj29 By jessj29
    05.08.09  

    I think Oprah can afford to give a better free meal! I mean really free KFC, big deal. She should be supporting organic and free range farmers. If she wants to provide a meal for America's working class it should be a healthy one.

  • kristi3374 By kristi3374
    05.08.09  

    I did get the coupons and we went to get it and it was a mad house at my KFC they stopped the whole thing as you may have heard by now and there were people in line to get this and were turned away because it was bigger than expectted

  • bekahjarr By bekahjarr
    05.08.09  

    I think this was a great free meal from Oprah! I had no trouble printing the coupon. This was an awesome idea!

  • janicelynne71 By janicelynne71
    05.08.09  

    I had no idea it was an Oprah thing. I received an email from a freebies group with a link for a free kfc meal. We live in a tiny town and while they were busier than expected, I wasn't turned away. I appreciate the free meal, it's been great for lunch. But it isn't Oprah's or KFC's job to feed us. If money's tight, there are still ways to eat healthy and cheap.

  • karmakaytlyn By karmakaytlyn
    05.08.09  

    I understand that many people see this chicken dinner as keeping people from starving, when in fact that is not the case. How is this going to feed the hungry and homeless when they have no access to computers. This was an obvious marketing scam and KFC quit possibly could have paid Oprah for the endorsement. Do you people not realize that business is business and business people do not do anything that is not in their best interest or serving their desires.

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