Burger King prides itself on endless reinvention of its star product.
If there’s any one thing that Restaurant Brands International’s (QSR ) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. ReportBurger King is known for, it’s the constant, tireless reinvention of the Whopper.
Originally launched in 1957 for the fine price of 37 cents (about $3.80 currently), the flame-grilled sandwich is the bedrock of the Burger King brand.
But if you look at revenue, it’s easy to see that people choose McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report and Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Wendy’s Company (The) Report over Burger King when they’re in the mood for a burger.
That’s likely one of the key reasons Burger King seems to always try new ways to present and repackage its flagship sandwich, hoping that customers that come for it will buy a few other things, too.
For its latest trick, Burger King has introduced a new Whopper with an unusual presentation in celebration of Pride Month.
But many customers are offended by what Burger King has done with its newest offering.
Burger King Austria
What’s the Deal With The New Whopper?
Chewboom reports that Burger King Austria’s newest Whopper is pretty much the same as the usual one, served with a single flame-grilled patty, tomatoes, onions, pickles, lettuce, mayo, and ketchup.
There is, however, one small change: the buns.
As you can see in the photo above, the burgers come with either two “top” or two “bottom” buns. Burger King says that this inversion is meant to mean “equal love and equal rights.”
However, the terms “top” and “bottom” are also used to refer to the positions people of all sexual orientations prefer during sex. So people reacted with a mix of amusement and disgust.
“Some straight people came up with this and thought it was a good idea,” one Instagram user remarked, while another asked “WTF. What are you actually DOING to support the community? Aside from this MESS?”
The official account replied to the question, saying, “We are official partners of Vienna Pride.”
What Is Rainbow Washing?
The Burger King ad touches on a topic that’s gained major traction over the past few years as more and more big brands find ways to market their products during Pride Month.
Called rainbow washing, pride washing, or pink washing, the terms refer to efforts to sell products using pride as a central theme without actually supporting the LGBTQ+ community with time, money, or other much-needed resources.
Many feel that rainbow washing is a product of capitalism and an effort to make money off the community, rather than a true show of support for LGBTQ+.
In what has now become a yearly ritual, members both in and outside the LGBTQ+ community took to Twitter to make their voices heard about the issues.
While Burger King has donated to LGBTQ+ organizations in the past, some feel that even that move is a ploy.
“Reminder: Burger King is doing this because they get write-offs for charity donations to avoid paying taxes, not because they give a shit about what happens to those of us in the queer community,” one incensed Twitter user wrote.