Burger King is once again facing calls for a boycott, this time over its continued operations in Russia.
The fast food chain recently came under fire for pulling its ads from the video platform Rumble which refused to follow YouTube in demonetizing comedian Russell Brand’s channel after he was accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct.
People are now unhappy that Burger King is still doing business in Russia and not closing up its restaurants following the country’s military actions against its neighbor, Ukraine, even though it had promised to do so.
Restaurant Brands International, which owns 15 percent of Burger King’s franchises in Russia, had said in March 2022 that it “started the process” of dumping its shares in the country after the main operator of the restaurants refused to close.
The latest report from RBI said there were “no new updates to share at this time” about its Russian departure and the process to close would take “some time,” according to the BBC.
One expert accused RBI of hiding behind the “convenient smokescreen” of its franchise contracts as an excuse for not shipping out sooner, even though other major companies, such as Starbucks, had already done so.
“Saying they [RBI] want to leave but then dragging their feet is not the same as actually exiting Russia, and by continuing to do business in Russia 18 months into Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, they are sustaining Putin’s regime,” Steven Tian, a Yale researcher who looks at companies’ responses to the Ukraine war told the British broadcaster.
RBI told Newsweek it had not made any profits from its Russian operations since early 2022. “As we previously stated, we suspended all corporate support for the Russian market in March of 2022, including operations, marketing, and supply chain support in addition to refusing approvals for new investment and expansion. RBI has not made any profits from Burger King in Russia since early in 2022,” the company told Newsweek.
People online reacted to the news saying the company had “no morals.”
“‼️ BOYCOTT BURGER KING 🇷🇺 ⚡️⚡️⚡️ Burger King continues to operate in Russia 🇷🇺despite repeated promises to closedown. @BurgerKing helps finance Russia’s 🇷🇺 war against Ukraine,” wrote one person on X, formerly Twitter.
Another added: “I used to like Burger King & now I have to add it to the list of companies, that I will boycott for the rest of my life. Obviously Burger King is a company with no morals.”
And a third tweeted: “Burger King still open in Russia despite pledge to exit. I don’t ever eat at Burger King, but if I did, I’d stop now. What a disgrace.”
British comedian Brand was accused of various crimes last month in a joint investigation by the Dispatches program on the U.K.’s Channel 4 along with the newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times.
They spoke to four women who accused Brand of crimes including rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013. Brand has denied any wrongdoing and said in a video on social media that he was the victim of a “coordinated” attack by the media.