Fact check: Did Chick-Fil-A 'just' hire a new diversity leader?
After Target faced calls for boycotts over its Pride clothing collection and Bud Light faced backlash for partnering with a transgender social media influencer, another company is in conservatives’ crosshairs based on what appears to be a misinformed rumor.
Chick-fil-A, a chicken sandwich restaurant chain long known for its conservative Christian leadership, has suddenly embraced diversity, the claim goes.
"We have a problem," read a May 29 tweet that was liked more than 25,000 times. "Chick-Fil-A just hired a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is bad. Very bad. I don’t want to have to boycott. Are we going to have to boycott?"
This claim was amplified through other tweets, conservative commentators and news articles, gaining thousands of views and interactions.
The tweet linked in the comments to Chick-fil-A’s page on diversity, equity and inclusion, policies that conservatives frequently characterize as "woke." The page includes a quote from an "Erick McReynolds, VP, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion."
McReynolds is not a new hire. He already had this title when Chick-fil-A published its 2020 and 2021 Corporate Social Responsibility reports.
According to his LinkedIn profile, which is verified through a Chick-fil-A Corporate Support Center work email, McReynolds has been at Chick-fil-A since 2007. The profile said he became the company’s executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion in July 2020, and became vice president of the same unit in November 2021.
An archived copy of Chick-fil-A’s diversity, equity and inclusion page from Sept. 22, 2022, also shows the same title for McReynolds.
Verify also debunked this claim.
Chick-fil-A’s website says the company is committed to "embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do."
"We intentionally promote equal opportunity through our processes and practices," the website says.
Chick-fil-A did not comment on this claim.
We rate the claim that Chick-fil-A "just hired a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion" False.