Wendy’s Offers Support To Black Lives Matter After A Backlash Over A Franchisee’s Trump Donations

The Twitter hashtag #WendysIsOverParty started trending this week after a Business Insider article from May 18th revealing that a Wendy’s franchisee had donated more than $400,000 to President Trump’s reelection campaign started to make the rounds. Right now, the American public seems hyper-aware of who and what they give their money to, which created a strong backlash against the brand, causing the Wendy’s Twitter account to go on the defensive, tweeting, “We never have and never will contribute to a presidential campaign. For the record our CEO has always kept the same energy too. Facts.”

In Wendy’s defense, they’re right! According to CNN, the franchisee in question, James Boldenstedt, is the CEO of Muy Companies, which owns and operates a total of 800 Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut locations in the United States of America, he is not the CEO of overall Wendy’s brand. While Boldenstedt donated almost a half a million to President Trump in 2018 and most recently another $200,000 in March, Wendy’s actual CEO Todd Penegor, has no record of donating to Trump directly, though to imply Wendy’s doesn’t have a right-leaning agenda is misleading, considering Penegor has donated $6,000 to Wendy’s Political Action Committee, which CNN reports donates much more money to Republican congressional candidates than Democratic candidates. In addition, according to the Palm Beach Post, the chairman of Wendy’s board of directors, Nelson Peltz, raised $10 million for President Trump’s reelection campaign at a private fundraiser this past February.

So while Wendy’s hasn’t directly donated to President Trump, it might be a stretch to say they’re wholly anti-Trump. However, Wendy’s does seem to be pro-Black Lives Matter and the brand recognizes just how much they rely on Black culture for their identity, tweeting “Our voice would be nothing without Black culture. Right now, a lot of people are hurting because of blatant racism against Black People, Their voices need to be heard. Period.” Before using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and committing to a donation of $500k to “support social justice, the youth and education in the Black community starting with Thurgood Marshall College Fund and we’ll have receipts.” Wendy’s social media account also indicated that they’d be using their platform to further amplify Black voices going forward.

Wendy’s does indeed owe a huge debt to Black culture; not only have they dropped a viral hip-hop-inspired mixtape, they’ve created an entire corporate identity that relies heavily on slang terms and phrases popularized and originated by black Americans. Still, as self-aware as Wendy’s is revealing itself to be, the brand is still being met with some criticism from Twitter users who aren’t down with supporting a company that donates money to congressional leaders like Mitch McConnell, who enable the President’s agenda. Check out some of the criticism below.