Comedian and sometimes-pundit D.L. Hughley is the latest celebrity to weigh in on the Chick-Fil-A controversy, writing a “baby, it’s not you, it’s me… but really it’s kinda you” letter to the popular chain in the wake of a large, public rift over the restaurant and its stance on gay marriage.
Chick-Fil-A’s position on gay marriage has always been a tenuous issue, as rumblings of homophobia and donations to anti-gay groups are not entirely news when it comes to the popular chicken chain. But the controversy erupted into full-scale, national handwringing proportions this summer when CEO Dan Cathy publicly reaffirmed a preference for “traditional” marriage in an interview with a Baptist outlet, and more information subsequently uncovered indicated that the company had given millions of dollars to groups fighting against marriage equality for gay people.
The Chick-Fil-A controversy became an area in which supporters of gay rights felt they could no longer patronize the establishment in good conscience, if the money spent there went in part to deprive gay people of the rights granted other Americans. And D.L. Hughley is one of those who finds grabbing a Chick-Fil-A biscuit to now be a crisis of conscience, ending a love affair of since that time at the Atlanta airport with the chain’s fare.
In a letter published on the Huffington Post, Hughley explains:
“It was truly love at first bite. I told you I’d come back, and I did — time and time again. We met in various cities all over the country, each time better than the last, as if we’d never been apart. Isn’t that what true love is, where it picks up right it left off?”
But Hughley’s love affair with Chick-Fil-A soon went sour, as he explains:
“But baby, lately you’ve been doing me dirty. You’ve been speaking with a forked tongue, spewing hate instead of frying love. Who would have thought that a chicken sandwich would become a symbol for both free speech and intolerance at the same time? …I don’t understand why you’re jeopardizing what we have. You’re forcing me to choose between my heart and my stomach.”
Hughley describes the moment in which he was forced to choose between his love for what is fair and right and his love for those bangin’ waffle fries:
“Your president has said that you believe that a marriage is only between a man and a woman… You say that gay marriage is a sin, like in Leviticus 19:22. But a preceding verse, Leviticus 17:14, says, ‘You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.’ You don’t cook your chicken in a kosher way. On what grounds are you picking and choosing which edicts to follow?”
The former Chick-Fil-A fan wonders:
“Is this all because your President, Dan Cathy, has both male and female names? I can see how that can lead to a confusion with one’s gender identity. But whether he’s transgendered, cisgendered, questioning, or in transition, he’s still one of God’s children deserving of empathy and compassion.”
He also wants to know why a fast-food chain like Chick-Fil-A needs a stance on gay marriage or any marriage in the first place:
“When have fast food and politics ever intermingled before? Arthur Treacher’s has never impressed sailors into the British navy, not even once. Burger King didn’t send his royal troops to support us in Iraq. Long John Silver has left his pirating days behind him, and now is a peaceful member of our community. Pizza Hut did not try to declare itself a Habitat for a Humanity. It’s not the gay community that is freaky, outspoken and different. It’s you, baby.”
“So Chick-Fil-A, baby, I guess what I’m struggling to say, as I fight back the tears and wipe the grease from my fingers, is this. It’s not that I don’t love you; we both know that’s not true. I know I’ll never find another like you. But baby, we are growing in two different directions. I’m afraid I won’t be able to see you anymore… PS I would have written this on one of your fine napkins, but it was just too painful a reminder of the way we were.”
Have you, like D.L. Hughley, broken up with Chick-Fil-A?