Oprah's Chicken Giveaway : Philanthropy or Hypocrisy?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 05.07.09
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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  • bensmom122 By bensmom122

    Peta doesnt like KFC in general. I doubt it would make a difference where their chicken comes from. Oprah & KFC tried to do a very nice thing, but didnt think through the consequences very well. If this had been done two years ago, they woudnt have had that mess. Thankfully, KFC didnt renig on their offer all together & offered rainchecks which turned out to be an even better offer (they included a free drink). Yes, I did get the raincheck & I did eat there, but I was going to be eating out anyway & frankly, Id rather have KFC than burgers & fries any day. Id rather see a misguided attempt at helping someone, than no attempt at all.

  • teeniemarie By teeniemarie

    Go Oprah! I also printed the coupon (did have problems printing it as well) but in this economy who is going to turn down a free meal. Everyone is always so quick to criticize Oprah....

  • Litesugar By Litesugar

    I think that it was a great idea that was handled poorly by KFC. Like Oprah said, what did they think was going to happen when they announced the offer on her show? I went into KFC to get the mail in rebate and was going to buy lunch since I was there. My goodness, you need a coupon in there. The prices are astronomical!! I left after getting the rebate form and went to more reasonable sister chain, Taco Bell.

  • Mammakin76 By Mammakin76

    I don't watch Oprah, so I missed the whole story on this. As others stated, food should have also been donated to shelters for those who don;t have acess to computers. I think that KFC was right in giving away a free meal- I mean I have money to pay for one, but do I spend it eating out- NO.. I can use it else where for my household. I believe Oprah is the most dangerous women in America and people need to wake up and stop "following" her- she is on the band wagon with anything that gets her pockets lined more!

  • ekw1966 By ekw1966

    How do you get the coupons? I like KFC's food.

  • MamaJJ By MamaJJ

    This whole coupon deal worked out great for KFC in the long run after all. To get a coupon mailed to you, you have to visit a location, which means...ta da...a likely sale.

  • Innergy By Innergy

    Why do we always find ourselves complaining about HOW a good deed is done. You enjoyed the present but didn't like the wrapping paper? I didn't get a chance to print the coupon but I still say "Thank you Oprah, KFC and anyone else involved". I know some people rthat eally needed and appreciated it.

  • colie2k By colie2k

    I printed and used the coupon. I respect those who choose to not eat meat but don't agree with them!

  • Butteflylblue By Butteflylblue

    I had no problem printing the coupon. My problem was trying to find,( which I never did), a KFC that would accept the coupon.

  • pjgriff By pjgriff


  • oravets4 By oravets4

    I understand how PETA could be upset with this promotion because they are against how Tyson raises their chickens, but honeslty Oprah has nothing to do with it. I think it was great that KFC WAS giving away a free meal for people to try their new grilled chicken. I was able to print out the coupons, but was unable to reddem them due to the high volume of coupons. I sent in for the raincheck, so we'll see if we actually do get it.

  • aliona By aliona

    Love the gesture. I do wish I was easier to get the coupon! And KFC, they are the ones i am not happy about. In our area they won't honor more than 70 coupons! I was a zoo!!!!Got nothing after an hour of wait!

  • sgc1103 By sgc1103

    Peta get over yourself ... People need and want protein and last time I checked it is a free world if you do not support the Tyson org. Then don't buy their products but leave us alone if we want to

  • cmrharris By cmrharris

    It was a nice gesture from Oprah to post the coupon on her website, but people went overboard with this. I understand that people are out of jobs right now and Anyone (working or not) loves a free meal. But some people went too far and was freaking out because they could not get the coupon printed. I know some poeple took advantage of the program by making copies of the coupon and tried to use them. I think that she should have offered free meals to those in real need. Most of the people that I know that used the coupon had the money to pay for a meal, and I see many homeless people walking the streets that would love a free meal but had no way of getting the coupon. I think it was nice of Oprah but it should have been done differently/

  • wgoddard By wgoddard

    Oprah could have easily lent her support to something that would not have promoted agribusiness and that was far healthier.

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