If you tried to go to Popeyes this past weekend, chances are, you might have run into a long line of people looking to get their hands on the new fried chicken sandwich. After having a light back and forth with Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s last week (which turned into the comical #ChickenWars), Popeyes capitalized on an epic PR opportunity and people have been craving the sandwiches ever since.
But there were people who heard about the craze over the sandwich and it actually left a bad taste in their mouths. They criticized the people who were making their way to Popeyes in great numbers and said they needed to maintain the same level of energy they have for chicken for more important issues. One of those people was actually singer Janelle Monáe. When she caught wind of all the hoopla, she had a suggestion.
“Perhaps we put voting booths at every Popeyes location ?” she wrote on Twitter. “While we wait on that sammich you can register and vote @popeyes holla.”
People who saw her tweet, aside from controversial actress Cynthia Erivo who said it was “not a bad idea,” were pretty annoyed, reminding her that Black voter turnout has made a major impact in recent elections. Black women, specifically, were the highest percentage of voters to turn out to try and keep Donald Trump out of the White House, voting for Hillary Clinton. Not only that, but her comments overlook the reality that voter suppression efforts are still a big issue around the country:
Yeah, people weren’t happy with Monáe’s proposition for the chicken chain, and after being called out on Twitter, the “Tightrope” singer decided to apologize. There were no complaints about people misreading her comment, no grievance with cancel culture, no ignoring the issue. She admitted that her tweets were “insensitive and wrong” and thanked Black Twitter for letting her know they were.
“Thanks to all of you for calling me out (or in) and helping me remember and refocus on the bigger issues. I love y’all,” she wrote. “Keep teaching one another. Never be afraid to be wrong. Never be afraid to listen and learn.”
Much respect to her for owning up to the fact that her comments definitely weren’t the best. The fact that people believe that having some fun and enjoying a chicken sandwich means we as a people are dropping the ball when it comes to other major matters is pretty sad. No need to shame people out of doing and having the harmless things that bring them joy — including a “sammich.”