Burger King is taking a bit of flack from some mental health advocates who claim that a TV ad the fast food chain has been running in recent weeks is insulting to those suffering from mental illness.
In the ad, which you’ve likely fast-forwarded through while skipping the commercials on your DVR, BK’s “King” character — you know, the one that gives children and adults nightmares with its ghoulish fixed plastic grin — running amok through an office while being chased by men in white uniforms who say the King is “crazy” for only charging $3.99 for his Steak House burgers.
The commercial’s characterization of the mentally ill or of the medical profession isn’t sitting well with some.
“I was stunned. Absolutely stunned and appalled,” says Michael Fitzpatrick, executive director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who called the ad “blatantly offensive… This is beyond edgy. Way beyond.”
Both the National Alliance and another group, Mental Health America, have written to BK asking to have the ads pulled from rotation, which was scheduled to happen this week anyway… so, yeah.
As for the folks at the Burger Kingdom, they were not taking this one very seriously. “The creative concepts used to bring this to life were meant to highlight the King’s unchecked enthusiasm about giving his guests a Steakhouse-quality sandwich at a great price and were not intended to reflect any group or situation,” said a BK spokesperson.
Here’s the commercial. Watch it and judge for yourself… or not.