KFC apologizes for ‘insensitive’ Kristallnacht promo

BERLIN (AP) – KFC has apologized for accidentally sending an automated push alert to users of its app in Germany that appeared to urge people to order food to commemorate the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht – the “Night of Broken Glass” – when Nazis terrorized Jews worldwide. Germany and Austria.

The company faced an outcry for the alarm that came out on Wednesday at a time when Jewish groups warned of rising antisemitism. According to a screenshot shared online, the app’s warning says, “Remembrance day for the night of the Reich pogrom. Treat yourself to softer cheese on your crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!”

KFC Germany said the notice was an “unplanned, inconsiderate and unacceptable message and for this we apologize.”

“We use a semi-automated content creation process that is linked to a calendar that includes national activities. In this case, our internal review process was not followed correctly, resulting in unapproved notifications being shared,” the company said in a statement Thursday.

The chicken chain said it stopped communicating the application and reviewed its policy to avoid similar notices in the future, adding that “we understand and respect the gravity and history of this day, and remain committed to equity, including and belonging to all.”

The announcement prompted an outcry from Jewish groups, and Dalia Grinfeld, associate director of European affairs at the Anti-Defamation League, tweeting in German: “How could you win the Reich pogrom at night, @KFCDeutschland (@kfc)?! Shame on you!”

The shock came on the anniversary of November 9, 1938, when the Nazis, including many ordinary Germans, killed at least 91 people and vandalized 7,500 Jewish businesses during the Kristallnacht pogrom across Germany and Austria. It also burned more than 1,400 synagogues, according to Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. In Germany, this event is more commonly called Reich pogrom at night.

To mark the day, Holocaust survivors from around the world warned of its re-emergence of antisemitism in a campaign called #ItStartedWithWords. Jewish groups say attacks and incidents of bias and hate speech have increased.

The new brand recently entered into a relationship with celebrities over antisemitic comments, including German sportswear company Adidas and others and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West and Nike and NBA player Kyrie Irving.

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