People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has launched a new offensive against fast food giant McDonald’s with a new campaign ad called McCruelty. What is most jarring about this new promo campaign is that the late Golden Girl Bea Arthur is featured in the ad with the claim that she would “roll over in her grave” if she knew what McDonald’s was up to. To me, this seems terribly offensive to the late actress’s memory but PETA maintains that they have the support of Arthur‘s son in the matter. Here is what this new PETA campaign promo photo looks like and excerpts of what it says:
A new PETA ad aimed at shaming McDonald’s into changing their chicken-slaughtering practices stars a familiar glare — one belonging to Bea Arthur. A ‘Golden Girls’-era photo of the actress appears in the ad next to the jarring headline: “McCruelty. It’s enough to make Bea Arthur roll over in her grave.” Arthur died last April of cancer shortly before her 87th birthday. Arthur was a long-time supporter of PETA when she was alive, and the ad states she left money to the animal right’s group for their campaign against McDonald’s. It begins: “Death couldn’t stop this Golden Girl from fighting the Golden Arches’ cruel slaughter practices.” The ad is running in Chicago newspapers on Thursday to reach the Illinois-based fast food company. Dan Matthews, a PETA vice president, told the New York Times that he consulted with Matt Saks, Arthur’s son, “who especially liked that the copy was in Bea’s irreverent voice.” According to the ad, PETA is using the money Arthur gave “to pressure McDonald’s to switch to a less violent, USDA-approved chicken-slaughter method” that they say would spare birds of broken legs and “being scalded to death in defeathering tanks.” The ad specifically calls out McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner, who has resisted changing slaughtering methods. It ends with a popular saying by Arthur’s ‘Maude’ character: “God’ll get you for that.”
I suppose if Bea‘s son Matt is OK with this ad then I should be as well … I just wish that PETA used better language. Bea only died last year and, at least to me, the loss still feels very present. It seems cruel to me to be making jokes about the woman’s death so soon after her passing. It’s tricky because even tho her son approves, we can’t know if Bea would’ve been ok with an ad like this. In the end, I suppose we have to trust that her son would know best. What do y’all think?