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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  • KarenMN By KarenMN

    My only question is: How did the people in need print these coupons? I'm doubting that very many needy people have access to a printer or a computer. Heck! They might not even have access to a TV to view the Oprah show and even find out about this freebie! Don't get me wrong, I think it was nice of Oprah to offer us a free meal but, it would have been nicer to offer it to people that really need the handouts.

  • sjw414 By sjw414

    I printed my coupon with out a problem, i think she was trying to do a good thing. The follow up show stated that people gave coupons to the homeless, how can you criticize that?

  • MomSpotted By MomSpotted

    :( I was never able to print the coupon and tried several times. Um, if she's trying to feed people who need a meal why not offer a healthier option? I agree, Oprah never gave anyone anything except a bit of PR (for this event anyways)

  • mchavezrey By mchavezrey

    I'm sure KFC is hoping people don't take the time to go to the store and pick up a raincheck! Anyway, it was a nice thought and I'm sure there are more folks out there with unusable coupons then those who actually received the free meal. Bummer I'm one of those who didn't get in on it but has a coupon! I'm sure hope Oprah is getting a ton of e-mail on this one!! Poor judgement on Oprah's part and this one folks will not soon forget!


    i think the food would have been better to have sent to a food bank or shelter for people who can't afford it - let's face it Oprah got the stuff free from KFC just for mentioning it on her show - how about donating the food KFC/Oprah - poor choice on their part.

  • susanluv By susanluv

    I think that the whole thing was a scam on the part of KFC. Did they seriously think there wouldn't be a demand for this offer? Now we have to walk into a KFC just to receive a form to mail in (the postage makes it no longer free) to receive our "free" meal. What they want to do is get you in under the pretense that you are receiving a free meal only to find out you're not so because you are already there you buy your lunch, dinner etc and then maybe if you remember to send in for your raincheck you can have a free meal in the next 6 - 8 weeks. What a joke!!

  • Joyfulmom4 By Joyfulmom4

    Well, since the deal has been withdrawn anyway (they're not honoring it anymore, but will send out a "rain check" to those who go to the trouble of goign to the store, getting rain check coupons and mailing them in to get a new raincheck coupon) I have a hard time feeling the love in this philantropic gesture.

  • JBallantine By JBallantine

    Honestly, PETA would be happy if every person on this planet ceased to exist so that the animals could run free. However, PETA itself is just as bad as other organizations. They hype things that are untrue and they themselves have put animals down in their shelters. I am all for not abusing animals but honestly - We are omnivores people.. we eat meat AND veggies. This was just a big campaign by KFC and they paid Oprah a lot of money to be their spokesperson for a day. I got the coupons and had the meal. I prefer the fried KFC over the grilled any day.

  • LetMeTellYou By LetMeTellYou

    I didn't see the show but I did print and taste the chicken. The chicken was good enough but not something I would rush out to pay for.

  • villahills3 By villahills3

    Please, Oprah and KFC did a good thing...IF what PETA says is true and that is a big IF...then the problem is with Tyson...deal with them and leave someone doing a good thing alone!

  • agaphmou By agaphmou

    Oprah did a good deed,she had good intentions.I don't know why people are putting her down.This was for the new kfc grilled chicken,much healthier than the fried version.Anyone without a pc or printer could use a friends,print them at school.work,relative's house or whatever.

  • snowyt By snowyt

    If this is to help people in need those people may not have the ability to print the coupons in the first place-- Idea was good- but didnt work-

  • amok67 By amok67

    It took me an hour to get the coupon. As we all know now, it caused riots and chaos! I wonder how they will still honor the million or so coupons that they are going to reissue?

  • jasminebrianandjr By jasminebrianandjr

    " Can't this be a win-win? Can't Tyson both raise chickens ethically and KFC can also give away free meals?" You would raise a chicken ethically if it were going to be a pet! It CANNOT be win-win if in the end the chicken is going to end up at KFC...LOL... Anyway...regardless whether oprah gave the coupons away, or she was being used as PR...this is a great deed and should not be criticized!

  • karenhop50 By karenhop50

    I watched he show and got the coupons but have been unable to use them. I agree that it can be a win, win situation. Treat the chickens ethically and then offer everyone a chicken dinner. They took our printouts and said they will mail the free coupons, we'll see.

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