The KFC fast food chain in Germany issued an apology on Wednesday after it sent an app alert suggesting customers commemorate the anniversary of Nazi-led attacks on Jews by eating cheesy chicken.
The chain’s German division sent a message to followers on its app that read: “It’s memorial day for Kristallnacht! Treat yourself with more tender cheese on your crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!” the BBC reported.
Not surprisingly, many people found KFC’s promotion to be tasteless. Kristallnacht, or “Night of Broken Glass,” is considered the start of the Holocaust. The two-night rampage on Nov. 9-10, 1938, led to the destruction of 267 synagogues and thousands of other Jewish-owned businesses in Nazi Germany, as well as the deaths of 90 Jewish people and the arrest of thousands more.
Germany takes the Kristallnacht anniversary seriously, according to the BBC, with numerous memorial events reflecting the Nazis’ murder of more than 6 million Jewish people.
About an hour after the alert, KFC issued a follow-up on the app that blamed the tasteless promotion on “an error in our system,” and added: “We are very sorry, we will check our internal processes immediately so that this does not happen again. Please excuse this error,” according to The Guardian.
KFC Germany issued a statement to the Jerusalem Post on Thursday that went into more detail. The company said it uses “a semi-automated content creation process linked to calendars that include national observances.” The usual review process, the company said, was not properly followed, and that resulted “in a non-approved notification being shared.”
The company called the mistake “obviously wrong, insensitive and unacceptable.”
“We understand and respect the gravity and history of this day, and remain committed to equity, inclusion and belonging for all,” KFC added.
Considering that the alert came as antisemitism is on the rise, it’s no wonder the chicken chain’s advertising left a bad taste in the mouths of many.