Woman outraged at Burger King
One Million Moms, the group at the center of the protest, has successfully petitioned other brands to change.

Burger King is catching quite the grilling from One Million Moms, a faith-based group that targets entertainment they view as immoral, profane, or vulgar. The group’s latest crusade against the popular fast-food chain stems from Burger King’s use of a four-letter word in their new ad campaign for their Impossible Whopper.

No, not that word.

“Damn, that’s good.” That's the line uttered by a customer after biting into their new meatless hamburger, the most memorable reaction in the fast-food chain's latest ad.

But that simple exclamation was enough to draw the ire of the group. They’ve launched a campaign to get Burger King to remove the ad from network television, effective immediately.

You'd think an evangelical outfit that brands itself One Million Moms might appreciate the subtle madness of advertising. But, perhaps not.

Damn, That’s Controversial

"One Million Moms finds this highly inappropriate," begins their statement. "The language in the commercial is offensive, and it’s sad that this once family restaurant has made yet another deliberate decision to produce a controversial advertisement instead of a wholesome one. Burger King’s Impossible Whopper ad is irresponsible and tasteless. It is extremely destructive and damaging to impressionable children viewing the commercial. We all know children repeat what they hear."

One Million Moms goes on to insist the man responding to the taste didn’t have to curse, that if the interview was indeed real and unscripted, Burger King could have simply edited the profanity out of the final commercial.

A quick scan of the group's website reveals similar campaigns against everything from Disney to Whole Foods to Barnes & Noble. Disney’s inclusion of a gay character in a Star Wars program is a bridge too far, Whole Foods supports Drag Queen Story Hour, and Barnes & Noble sells a book that depicts President Trump as a pig, which is “inflammatory garbage” that “gravely disrespects” the president.

The group has claimed some moral victories in the past. They’ve taken credit for getting a Missy Elliott song removed from a KitKat commercial. They halted an advertising campaign from fashion store rue21. And they’ve claimed success for the cancellation of a number of offensive or blasphemous television programs over the years, like “The Mick,” “The Real O’Neals,” “Lucifer,” and “Dating Naked.”

Controversy is King

But is this all just controversy for controversy’s sake? It’s yet to be seen if Burger King will acquiesce to the demand to remove the word their Impossible Whopper campaign - though it seems unlikely. It's apparently benign enough to be aired in a fast-food commercial on network television. And maybe they included it on purpose in attempt to be edgy and better connect with customers. 

But this all speaks to a larger question: What is it that makes a word offensive? It seems we've collectively decided on an arbitrary group of "off limits" words that are unfit for children's ears. But societies change, and language changes. You never know -- perhaps we'll look back in 50 years and laugh about ever censoring the word "damn" in the first place. 

What do you think? Are these parents right to be outraged? 

47 comments

  1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

    Are the complainers going to also demand that with married couples on TV that at least one person have a foot touching the floor while they are in bed, like in the 1950s? "They're going to party like it's 1699!"

    1. Linda Salavarria's Avatar Linda Salavarria

      Agreed. Ridiculous. American christians are quickly losing credibility when they bitch about words like "damn" on tv but vote in a man who openly uses the word "pussy", has more open lawsuits and investigations than any president in history, and has cheated on every wife, including the current one when she was pregnant. THAT'S OFFENSIVE!! They apparently turn their "ethics" on and off when convenient. No credibility. They should be more concerned with how they will be reviewed by future generations.

      1. rev.heidianne's Avatar rev.heidianne

        I completely agree! In my opinion, people like Trump's actions which are horrible speak louder than words!

      2. Pastor Tory's Avatar Pastor Tory

        What does any of this have to do with Politics? That's right, Absolutely Nothing!

      3. Dark Gray's Avatar Dark Gray

        I don't know any Christians who would complain about the "Damn!" and I know just a few Christians who support Trump. Unfortunately, all Christians seem to get tarred by the same fundamentalist brush.

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    Respectfully...just another example of people with nothing better to do than to project their insecurities on others...they should be ignored...Tom B

  1. Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls's Avatar Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls

    In my opinion there're more pressing and urgent matters in society than the word damn.

    1. rev.heidianne's Avatar rev.heidianne

      so true!

  1. Pastor Susie Timlick's Avatar Pastor Susie Timlick

    Okay folks let's nip this one in the bud. It is not the responsibility of a church, a school, a any governmental agency, therapist or organization that really does have the interest of children at heart. It begins the very moment that you burst that child it is a lifelong commitment you are the one to set the values and to educate your children . And when I say educate these children I mean to educate them as a conscientious caring member of the Human family. It really does begin at homeso here's a suggestion for those of you who have accepted a parenting role in the child's life turn off the video games, put your cell phone in a basket, and address whatever the issue is with concern and the goal being that the foundation you're going to lay is going to be the one that your child will walk the rest of their life." The old because I said so just doesn't cut it any more folks you have to step up and be the light to lead precious children. they weren't born with the ability to hate to be bigoted to be cruel to be rude to be unkind. Those are learned behaviors that can be eliminated if the caretakers of young do their job. Children are not entitled to anything except to be loved, to be guided, and to feel safe in a nurturing environment.. just a manner for your Plate of Thinks....Peace and Prayers Pastor T

    1. Pastor Susie Timlick's Avatar Pastor Susie Timlick

      Sorry about that burst not burst that child..

      1. Pastor Susie Timlick's Avatar Pastor Susie Timlick

        BIRTH !!!!! Autocorrect bad bad bad thing.. my apologies ✝️

        1. Donald Richard Starns's Avatar Donald Richard Starns

          Sometimes, I think autocorrect is playing with us. It was funny, you’ll have to admit.

    2. Pastor Susie Timlick's Avatar Pastor Susie Timlick

      Sorry about that burst not burst that child..

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Babies were born, children weren't. And many of us became juvenile delinquents all on our own, and prided ourselves on being bad boys. I sure wish I had known you when I was a precious, little devil Susie. I would have taken you on a joy ride in my car, only I would have been the only one laughing. There's one born every minute. It's time to wise up.

    4. Reverend Will's Avatar Reverend Will

      I disagree with your assessment of parents being able to lead as an example. I have seen many children go down the wrong path, especially pastor's kids. Kids learn from many sources home being only a small percentage. Once they are in school their home life is only a small fraction of their daily learning. Peer pressure, the need to fit in, self confidence, etc. All of these play a role in the type of people we all become. Then some only learn by making mistakes and bad choices. Others follow their parents lead. Some kids go the wrong way despite having loving caring parents that live as an example. Kids are living breathing people with their own minds and their own free will. Why do you think vast numbers of teens are leaving the church in droves despite parent's best efforts?

    5. flugo's Avatar flugo

      'pst!': 'Because I said so!' is as valid as it ever was. God's laws are not negotiable, nor debatable. If He says 'do it', you do it! If we train our kids to obey their parents without question, then the kids will be more inclined to obey their Heavenly Parent without questioning. Your comment has little merit, and suggests the liberal, amoral values are kids are exposed to today.

      1. Peter James Marengo's Avatar Peter James Marengo

        And your comment bespeaks of pride, haughtiness and hypocrisy: things Jesus spent much time warning his followers against. Perhaps if Christians who spend their time pointing fingers at what they perceive as faults of others would instead use that time to go into their prayer closet for self-examination and ask God to forgive their own weaknesses and attitudes, then maybe -- just maybe -- their hearts would be softened to love rather than to judge. It's God's job to judge; our job is to love according to Jesus's Sermon On The Mount.

  1. Master Wolf KSC's Avatar Master Wolf KSC

    From What I’ve read, the “million mothers” are just one woman. There is no actual group, just a woman with an agenda.

  1. Carol A siebert's Avatar Carol A siebert

    Heard worse words than that. Personally doesn't bother me. I wouldn't waist my time with this one.

    1. Ruthie J McCranie's Avatar Ruthie J McCranie

      I say worse words ALL the time...

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    Hmmm. Amazing what religious zealots will say yet find the same words uttered by others offensive. Damn, or any of it's iterations, is found throughout their bible. Hell, if you listen at all, you'll hear a lot of preachers reading the word(s) and even pronouncing it in their sermons.

    Better, I think, the Impossible Whopper ☣ should be condemned.

    🌈

    1. Linda Salavarria's Avatar Linda Salavarria

      Why? It's really good! As a vegetarian, I'm really glad I have more options with fast food than just the french fries.

      Although if you're talking just about the benefits of fast food, yeah, it is a vice!

  1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

    lol Damn is not even close to a vulgarity in this day and age. We are now dropping F bombs on star trek, making up slang swear words for sci fi shows in general to avoid censorship and mainstream shows like game of thrones( youd be surprised how many parents let young kids watch that tripe)

    Damn is just a word, an expressive that has little to do with the archaic idea that one could damn another spiritually with a mere word. Like frell off to anyone or faction that thinks someone saying damn thats good is too offensive for a commercial and Fast Food in general is terrible for people, taking your kids to eat there more then like 1 time a month makes you a terrible parent unworthy of being taken seriously when talking about the concern for the children.

  1. Jerry Todd Moyes's Avatar Jerry Todd Moyes

    Damn is just a word, and in this context is an exclamination of surprize. By no reasonable definition is that profane. This busy body group, One Million Moms, could direct that energy to so many good causes, instead they waste it nitpicking at something if no consequence, truly sad use of time, energy, and resources.

  1. Rodney Dahl's Avatar Rodney Dahl

    Words may simply be symbols of symbols. They have exactly the meaning and power we choose to give them. Who does the choice serve?

  1. Paul's Avatar Paul

    Maybe instead of kicking up a dust cloud over a word, they should be looking more into the welfare of the animals that these fast food giants own. It'd sure make the word 'damn' seem pretty insignificant pretty quickly.

  1. Dan C Bowles's Avatar Dan C Bowles

    I think this is misplaced outrage. Compared to the way our president speaks of women, their anatomy, football players he disagrees with, and countries he demeans, "damn" in a burger commercial doesn't come close.

  1. Dr Asha Sharma's Avatar Dr Asha Sharma

    To my fellow ministers, we have so much more to worry about then this thing about Burger King. Our children are moving away from our religious beliefs we are in a lawless society with all the violence and lack of respect in our government houses. We are a strong voice as ministers less us all stand up to the evil forces which are the plague of this new decade.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Thank goodness children are moving away from religious dogma and indoctrination. They need a better understanding of life than religion can give them.

      1. Tom's Avatar Tom

        Lionheart...i agree...the sooner people move away from organized religion, the sooner they can learn God...Peace...Tom B

    2. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

      Asha - That sounds precisely what Socrates said so many thousands of years ago about the youth of that society as well.

      “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

      1. Angel's Avatar Angel

        I agree. People complain society is losing their morals and values yet turn a blind eye on the things that cause it. This may seem petty, contributing to bad behavior only makes bad behavior worse.

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      What children, Sharma? I don't have any children (that I'm aware of), and wouldn't claim them if I did! All I know about that is "With a rebel yell, she cried more, more, more!!!" Long live the rebels of this world, without whom nothing would ever change. I love the bumper sticker I read in an Azuregreen catalog that states "I love my country, but hate my government". Too bad it won't fit on my bicycle. That is, with all those other stickers. For example, Born to ride, and "It puts the lotion on its Skin, or it gets the hose again". I bought those and others at biker rallies. And yes, I was wearing my colors. However, my first motor vehicle was a 1984 Honda Aero 125 scooter, and the only bumper sticker I had on it stated Reagan For President, which I proudly displayed while riding down the street in my security guard uniform and NRA cap (to and from work) while listening to such patriotic music (full blast) as Queensryche's Rage For Order, Duran Duran's Wild Boys, and George Thorogood's Bad To The Bone. Talk about a sight for sore eyes... And now I'm proud to say "Thanks for men like President Biden, and the G.O.P.! I'll be the first to break ranks, and not vote for my party, when that's what it takes.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    What they should be complaining about is that these "burgers" are made with coconut products. There are many in the country that have sever allergies to nut based products and foods and for them to not mention this on the commercial or on their drive throughs is just asking for trouble if a person with a "nut based allergy" buys one of these and then goes into shock from eating it. Burger King messed up, but not in this way

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Sorry but Burger King did mess up, just not with this. Their burgers are made with coconut and some people have a nut product allergy. Now whats going to happen if a person with an allergy purchases one of these "burgers" and then goes into shock because they were not warned it was made with coconut? This is what the group should be protesting about...not because of a single word

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      And some people say the nuttiest things, factual or not, only to get attention,

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        So you seem to have a problem with facts?

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          There are many truths to everything, depending on one's point of view.

  1. JKM's Avatar JKM

    I didn’t even know this commercial existed (eye roll). I wish they would get offended about people going hungry and dying without health care. Maybe they could spend their time and energy fighting against that rather than innocuous swear word that BK probably didn’t need to include. Especially since we all know how fragile some people are.

    As an aside, the picture included with the article is quite the outdated stereotype, and demeaning to the (at most) 60,000 Moms, IMHO

    Peace

  1. Angel's Avatar Angel

    Sorry, devil's advocate- They cater towards children, their mascot represents that. Because of this, they have an obligation and a reputation of a family friendly dining experience, so adding profanity is not only inappropriate, but also very tacky. Carl's Jr made the same mistake by using commercial that were equivalent to soft porn. Just because children are more exposed to these words, doesn't mean it should be encouraged. Society is always complaining how morals and values in society are going downhill, and this is merely an example why. You don't see anything wrong with it until your 2 year old screams "d@mn" in the middle of the grocery isle. Or a 5th grader saying "D%nm" while doing a test and then get's sent to the principles office for using profanity. The more boundaries that pushed and then accepted, the more those boundaries get pushed further. It shouldn't be a matter of degree, but the fact that it shouldn't be tolerated to begin with. I was watching a tv show on Nickilodian with my kids and I was floored that "beotch" was constantly used in the kids movie. So, d@mn is now appropriate for kids. Then beotch" is also appropriate because this exposure is LESS toxic then other things these kids are exposed to?At what point do we finally say, that's not appropriate? People complain about the demise of society and then encourage the reasons for it....

    1. Linda Salavarria's Avatar Linda Salavarria

      Well I'll double devil ya'...

      Christians are the ones who voted in a guy who has horrific ethics (cheating on his pregnant wife) and openly uses offensive words, including curse words, at his rallies. And there are children there too.

      Just a little two-faced here?? They should prob leave this one alone until they clean up their own room.

  1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

    I am wondering, are the people becoming angry supporters of a trumpid, who speaks and acts far worse ?

  1. Jesse Leffler's Avatar Jesse Leffler

    I always find the opinions of that group to be completely amusing. Never a dull moment with them.

  1. William Leon Barfield's Avatar William Leon Barfield

    Not a bad thing. I say worse daily.

  1. Norbert Roy Laengrich's Avatar Norbert Roy Laengrich

    Forget the religious side of the arguments for a moment. The word "damn" is a perfectly good word when used correctly. But like any word it can be used incorrectly and thus contribute to bastardizing the language. And commercials do affect the quality of communications beyond their immediate message. Quite frankly, I am very disturbed by the widespread use of by-words demeaning the common spoken language in the United States. The word "damn" means to condemn. So to say, "he was damned to a life of pain" is a perfectly good expression. So lets change the Burger King commercial to say, "Condemn, that's good!" I know, it sounds stupid. So the use of "damn" is just a by-word or it is used as a short for the curse "God Damn" which is clearly using God's name in vain. In any case, it simply leads to a polluted use of the English language.
    A more correct and polite expression would be "Wow, this is really good!" I think I will start a group called "One Million English Majors" whose purpose is to defend use of proper English!

  1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

    When I was growing, a common phrase was "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Instead of spending all of their time politicking, "One Million Moms" should spend that time parenting. Don't let TV be your child's babysitter, and you, as a parent, need be the curator and interpreter of what they watch: explaining it and putting it all into context: not acting as de facto content censor and arbiter of values for the rest of the nation. What I see here is parents unwilling to fulfill their duties to take the time to imbue their children with the value system that they, as parents, want them to embody. That takes time and effort, but that is what it means to be a parent. It is not the role of the media to teach values to our children. What I see is an abdication of responsibility and an attempt to transfer it to another party. What happens when children encounter these words in the real world? If they're shielded from them now, are they going to tell their peers when they grow up and hear one utter "Damn!" that they shouldn't say that, because their mother told them it was a bad word?

  1. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF's Avatar Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF

    One Million Moms™ needs to lighten up.

    From one perspective, it is just the vernacular of the day. “Damn” is a common – and widely understood – expletive. Christians™ should understand, even Jesus used the common vernacular to get His message heard. If He was around today, I think He would drop the occasional “F”-bomb, from time to time.

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