McDonald’s CEO hit with calls to resign over controversial text exchange

The CEO of McDonald’s is facing calls to resign after the release of a controversial text exchange with Chicago Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot that seems to blame the deaths of two Chicago children in a city shooting on their parents.

CEO Chris Kempczinski was met by a group of protesters outside the company’s headquarters last week after the messages came to light, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Tribune explained: “In the texts, sent after Kempczinski and Lightfoot met at McDonald’s Chicago headquarters in April, Kempczinski referred to recent shootings that killed two children: 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams, shot in the drive-thru lane at a McDonald’s in the Homan Square neighborhood, and 13-year-old Adam Toledo, shot by a Chicago police officer during a foot chase in Little Village.”

“With both, the parents failed those kids which I know is something you can’t say. Even harder to fix,” the CEO wrote in one message, according to the Tribune.

Met with protesters

The leaked messages prompted harsh blowback, with some reportedly accusing Kempczinski of racism.

The Tribune said roughly 20 people had gathered in person to voice their criticism, some chanting: “Hey McDonald’s, you can’t hide, we can see your racist side.”

In addition, Byron Allen, who filed a $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against Mcdonald’s earlier in 2021, apparently ran a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune last week asking the fast food company to remove its CEO over the issue.

Not the first time

For Kempczinski, this isn’t the first time he’s made headlines amid controversy. In March, the McDonald’s CEO was forced to publicly respond to complaints of sexual harassment from workers.

“Let me say plainly: every single person working under the Arches must have a safe and respectful work environment,” Kempczinski wrote in a statement.

“Sexual harassment in the workplace is an affront to everything we stand for as a system,” he added.

The statement followed a CBS Sunday Morning report, first released in February, that highlighted claims of sexual harassment from women employed by the restaurant chain.

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