Toronto politician in hot water after showing support for new Chick-fil-A location
Toronto's Deputy Mayor and Ward 21 City Councillor Michael Thompson is publicly backtracking after tweeting support for the opening of a Chick-fil-A franchise in his ward.
After tweeting a welcoming message for the Georgia-based chicken chain, Thompson was given a thorough thrashing by the Twitterverse, calling out the politician for friendly greetings towards a company known for funding hate organizations.
Many of you posted objections to my recent post announcing the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in our Ward because of the chain’s public, anti-LGBTQ+ stance and its support of anti-LGBTQ+ charities.— Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (@Thompson_37) August 25, 2021
Chick-fil-A has been a touchy topic since the franchise announced its expansion to Toronto.
While some were just happy to have access to the brand's popular offerings north of the border, there were plenty of naysayers ready to boycott Chick-fil-A for their founder's public stances campaigning against LGBTQ+ rights.
Some were especially furious to learn that the flagship location would open at Yonge and Bloor, steps from the Church-Wellesley Village and heart of Canada's LGBTQ+ community.
The tweet set off a firestorm of dissent, resulting in Thompson issuing a public retraction claiming that he was unaware of the Chick-fil-A controversy and that the company's views do not align with his own.
The company’s professed beliefs are incompatible with my personal views and the City’s guiding principle of diversity, tolerance, equity and inclusion. Thank you for raising the issue. I have taken down the post, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it.— Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (@Thompson_37) August 25, 2021
No screenshot is available showing the original tweet and its thread of replies. We are left with the reactions to his comments being retracted, now criticizing Thompson for flip-flopping and bowing to public pressure.
Thompson has been embroiled in controversy before, when he was accused of supporting racial profiling by police after voicing support for "stop and frisk" methods in the wake of Toronto's infamous Year of the Gun.
Contrasting this public relations blunder, he currently co-chairs the City's Confronting Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee.
Whether Thompson was fully aware of what Chik-fil-A stands for is anyone's guess, but it's a safe bet that he'll be turning to Google before welcoming any new businesses to his ward.
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