Did Burger King Introduce a ‘Proud Whopper’?

A promotional campaign by the Burger King fast food chain for LGBTQ+ Pride month was greeted with angst by right-wing bloggers and operatives — but that didn’t stop the company from reviving the idea in 2022.

The chain introduced the “Pride Whopper” in one of its San Francisco restaurants in June 2014 to coincide with the city’s Pride parade that year. As Time magazine reported at the time:

When customers visiting during Sunday’s pride parade asked cashiers what made this Whopper different from a standard-issue burger, they simply said, “I don’t know.” The mystery was revealed once diners opened the rainbow-colored wrapper and got a taste: absolutely nothing is different about this burger, nothing at all. To emphasize the point, the interior of the wrapper comes with a second message: “We Are All the Same Inside.”

Photos of the burger and its specialized wrapping spread online:

The analysis firm Cause Marketing said in a report on the campaign that it “gathered over one billion media impressions worth $21 million of earned media, 7 million views, and 450,000 blog mentions, and became the number one trending topic on Facebook and Twitter in one week.”

A year later, however, the right-wing blog “Truth Uncensored” posted content painting the “Proud Whopper” as a new campaign, woefully (and falsely) linking the burger to the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing same-sex marriage across the U.S. The blog, which took a decidedly whiny tone, said:

With the national focus on the LGBT Pride Movement, it was only a matter of time before this happened. Popular fast food chain Burger King has dedicated a Whopper to homosexuality with the creation of the gay pride burger.

On June 1 2022, the company’s Austrian division revisited the idea, announcing on Instagram that it was bringing back the “Proud Whopper” name for a new variation on the burger featuring either two top buns or two bottom buns:

It is unclear whether proceeds from the sale of this version of the burger will go toward benefitting pro-LGBTQ+ organizations; in 2021 Burger King announced that it would donate 40 cents from the purchase of any “Ch’King” chicken sandwiches to the Human Rights Campaign; as CNN noted, the move was a visible contrast to the Chick-Fil-A chain, whose owner, Dan Cathy, has donated to groups opposing LGBTQ+ equality.

Update 6/7/2022, 3:24 p.m. PST: This article has been revamped and updated. You can review the original here. — ag