Jan 1 1991

Rev. Wildmon Bites the Burger

Burger King capitulated to right-wing pressure by publishing a half-page ad in hundreds of newspapers (11/4-5/90): “Burger King wishes to go on recordas supporting traditional American values on television, especially the importance of the family…. We pledge to support such programs with our advertising dollars.”

In return for the ad, Rev. Donald Wildmon’s Christian Leaders for Responsible Television (CLeaR-TV) called off a threatened boycott against the fast-food chain for sponsoring allegedly profane and anti-Christian TVprograms. “Burger King wanted to talk to us so fast that we just didn’t geta chance to hype the boycott,” remarked a CLeaR-TV spokesperson (New York Times, 11/7/90).

When the ad appeared, neither Burger King nor the boycotters would tell the New York Times which of the company’s sponsored programs had led to the dispute. Why Burger King was reticent became obvious after FAIR obtained Rev. Wildmon’s 18-point complaint against Burger King-sponsored programs.

Thirtysomething was singled out for an episode in which a married couple, who are separated, make love and decide to get back together. The miniseries People Like Us was cited for “portraying homosexual lovers as caring, sensitive, rational men” and because “a major part of the plot included a movie star committed to raising funds for AIDS research.” An L.A. Law episode was criticized for its sympathetic portrayal of a Catholic priest who worried about whether to grant absolution to a woman who uses birth control.