Oprah's Chicken Giveaway : Philanthropy or Hypocrisy?

   By drodriguez  May 07, 2009

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?

Make a Comment

Sep 17, 2009

Poor selection of company to offer a promotion from. After doing a show on animal cruelty, I don't think it was wise to go with KFC. What about Popeye's or Church's? Their chicken is way better. I thought It was ridiculous how angry people were getting over this chicken, complaining that their family could not eat that night because they ran out of chicken. "I can't feed my family tonight because they ran out of chicken," is what one person said. Really? A two piece chicken meal per person is really going to feed an entire family? Regardless if this was a poorly executed promotion, people were ridiculous getting into physical and verbal fights over some chicken. Let's be civilized.

fpeters by fpeters | brooklyn, NY
Aug 18, 2009

wheteher or not this was for her selfish benefit or not, truth be told we all benefited from this. she looks great in the public eye and families got fed. i saw nothing wrong with it. it may have been a bit chaotic for KFC employees but it was only 2 days for which they probably got paid overtime. i hope she does it again in the future and once again she would have my support

chikitanydia by chikitanydia | montclair, NJ
Jul 06, 2009

they should have been more prepared but it was a great and kin idea

dwalter by dwalter | Catharine, KS
Jun 21, 2009

Everyone loves to get something for free, but some people go overboard to get it. Nice idea, but if you missed out, big deal, there are millions of other free deals out there if you know where to look.

lawnanoe by lawnanoe | rio linda, CA
Jun 21, 2009

oprah offered free chicken to everyone! hey, it doesnt get much better than that i mean for everybody to get chicken,wow!

Morkoor by Morkoor | Mount Laurel, NJ
Jun 16, 2009

Why do we always have to take something that someone is doing for the greater good and make a scene. People are starving. Some animals live better than the people in this country. Get a life doesn't anyone out there have anything better to do?

pinkberry by pinkberry | yorba linda, CA
Jun 15, 2009

oh my gosh ladies i love chicken alot and opraha's suggestions work all the time and this has to to be the best one! though not a fan of KFC myself i think that what she is doing is just fantastic.

mini-me by mini-me | houston, TX
Jun 14, 2009

Initially..I thought it was a good idea...but after a minute or two...rather than giving chicken dinners...(I also downloaded the coupon, but did not use)...maybe she should have given grocery store coupons i.e. $10 to families to make meals, not everyone likes chicken.....ummmmm...

scalcagno by scalcagno | Champaign, IL
Jun 13, 2009

If some on these coupons are going to families who need them, then why shed such a terrible light on the operation? Human rights should be considered before animal rights in my opinion.

newfiegirl1971 by newfiegirl1971 | corner brook, OU
Jun 13, 2009

I think that Oprah's heart was in the right place...so many times these days we see people with lots of money who wouldn't help you if you feel at their feet in front of you...No matter what there will always be someone there trying to make something good into something bad...Maybe it wasn't thought out perfectly but the other person trying to get into KFC may have not had a hot meal that day and were truly hungry....There is no place for morals and pride when you need a meal in your stomach...When a helping hand is there we should be grateful and take it...Thank God that many people went to bed with a full stomach that day,,,when i think about this it reminds me of the movie with Will Smith when trying to do better things for his son gave him alot of trials and tribulations along the way....but hey the main thing on his mind was feeding his son and putting a roof over his head...so though Oprahs plans may have kept KFC busy for the day it fed some needy people...Good for you Oprah

thriftyrocks by thriftyrocks | LANSING, MI
Jun 13, 2009

Well, I printed my coupons ethically...not copying them or whatever...and KFC wouldn't honor them. A chicken restaurant here in the Phoenix area said that they would honor the coupon on Mother's Day (since the KFC coup excluded that day.) We went to the competitor: El Pollo Loco provided wonderful meals with large sides, great grilled chicken (they've been doing it for years) and excellent customer service. People should come before animals but animals should be treated well. KFC should have expected a HUGE response....after all Oprah ain't that far down the Forbes list yet! I found a restaurant that in my opinion puts KFC to shame and go there all the time now! So I guess some good did come of this!

woogoo by woogoo | louisville, KY
Jun 12, 2009

I am a meat eater how yummy. I found out about the coupon give away after it was over. Guess I was too late the criticism is not warranted. If someone is advertising a product you don't like it don't download it .

krwact by krwact | Nyack, NY
Jun 12, 2009

I just can't understand the black/white arguments coming out here. It's not a situation where you're either anti-Oprah or anti-PETA. To all the commenters who argue that since "chickens are for eating", their quality of life is irrelevant, I'd argue quite the opposite. I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, so I'm not speaking from an animal-rights perspective, but we'd be extremely short-sighted to think that huge agri-business doesn't effect our daily living. Setting aside the potential risks of meat processed in this way, factory farming techniques are terrible for the environment and are simply unsustainable. It's techniques like these that drive up the cost of healthy and sustainable food choices which make them seem like a "luxury".

jfurler by jfurler | buffalo, NY
Jun 11, 2009

I don't agree with what some chicken farms do to the chickens, but Oprah is not the blame!! She tried to help out the needy. They should have just ran ads and if you asked for the free meal, you could get. When i printed the coupon, I printd multiples. So I agree a better plan should have been implemented!!!

ticklemeusilly by ticklemeusilly | Louisville, KY
Jun 08, 2009

It was a good idea, but it was handled badly. I think that it was poorly planned and could have been worked out a bit better. If it was a matter of wanting to give to the most needy in the community then they should have went to the soup kitchens. If it was a matter of putting food on each table no matter the income then print out coupons to be used no matter what date, not just for certain date...that was not very well thought out.