Burger King UK has received mixed reactions Monday after using a “women belong in the kitchen” joke on International Women’s Day to encourage employees to pursue a culinary career.
The fast-food giant hoped to bring awareness to the inequality within the restaurant industry in regards to the poor gender ratio that is still prevalent to this day.
However, the joke seems to have been made in poor taste, as it has quickly gone viral on Twitter.
The tweet reads, “Women belong in the kitchen.” By 8:30 a.m. eastern standard time, it had already amassed over 160,000 likes and over 90,000 retweets.
Women belong in the kitchen.— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) March 8, 2021
Soon after receiving backlash, the company followed up with an explanation as to why they tweeted the controversial joke.
The explanation reads, in part, “If they want to, of course. Yet only 20% of chefs are women. We’re on a mission to change the gender ratio in the restaurant industry by empowering female employees with the opportunity to pursue a culinary career. #IWD”
Two hours after releasing their explanation, the company responded to their Twitter thread announcing a new scholarship program to “help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams!”