McDonald's USA Denies Report That Travis Scott Partnership Was Launched in Response to Racial Discrimination Suits
A Vice report on the timing of McDonald's partnerships with Travis Scott and J Balvin received a response from the popular fast food company.
The vice report quotes two historians, Marcia Chatelain and Chin Jou, who shared the company's history in relation to race. The article suggests that the partnership was launched in response to recent discrimination complaints from former employees. Marcia Chatelain, a professor of African American Studies at Georgetown University, said there was "no question" the company created the collaborations to "build McDonald's brand awareness and loyalty among color consumers." The company has dismissed allegations regarding the collaboration and lawsuits filed against it.
A lawsuit was filed at McDonald's in January by two former executives. The individuals accused the company of "ruthlessly cleaning up" black employees in executive positions. Employees also stated that McDonald's had created a "hostile and abusive work environment" for all black executives and franchisees in the company. The number of black employees in such positions fell from 42 in 2014 to seven in 2019.
The second discrimination lawsuit of the year was brought by 52 black franchise owners who claimed that McDonald's had been dealing with "systematic and covert racial discrimination" for several decades. In the lawsuit, the franchisees said the company pushed for locations to open in low-income, high-crime areas, where turnover is highest. In addition, they have claimed that black franchisees did not receive adequate financial support and received stricter internal assessments than their white counterparts.
A statement from McDonald's USA shared with Complex reads: "Any claim that McDonald's partnered with Travis Scott in response to recent legal disputes is completely false. We've hooked up with Travis - and our newest celebrity partner , J Balvin - teamed up because they love the McDonald's brand, its widespread appeal, and its loyal following with our younger customers and crew. "
The statement continues: "As for the litigation - these allegations contradict everything we stand for as an organization and as partners of communities and small business owners around the world. Not only do we categorically deny the allegations, but we are also confident that the facts will show how committed we are to the diversity and equal opportunity of the McDonald's system, including for our franchisees, suppliers and employees. "
Last week it was reported that McDonald's Corp. in July, August and September was 4.6 percent year-over-year, with the company attributing the increase to its collaboration with Scott. The partnership with McDonald's and Scott also included several mech collection drops that sold out quickly.
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