(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) What began as a series of anonymous allegations that a Hollywood movie star got too frisky with groupies in the pre-#MeToo era is quickly cascading into a culture-war tit-for-tat that may bring down one of the world’s top fast-food chains and other woke companies dumb enough to wade into the fray.
Burger King wants you to “have it your way.” Who knew their “way” was wokeism, censorship & cancel culture. Their burgers are shit any way.
Spend your money wisely. @BurgerKing pic.twitter.com/u7YIMUuTs6
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) September 23, 2023
Burger King, grocery-delivery startup HelloFresh and British clothing company Asos were among those accused of pulling ads from Rumble in retaliation for the video-streaming platform’s decision to take a stand in favor of free speech after it rebuffed a request from the British Parliament to demonetize comedian Russell Brand.
Brand has vehemently denied any wrongdoing with respect to the allegations, first reported last week by the British media, that he sexually assaulted four unnamed women between 2003 and 2013.
The story first broke on the News Movement that at least four companies that advertised on Brand’s Rumble channel were punishing the streaming platform for refusing to censor Brand over the allegations, which have yet to be verified in any meaningful way.
“Burger King has paused all advertising on the channel while investigations into the allegations are ongoing,” said the company.
Even more stunningly, HelloFresh seemed to react in real time to the reporters’ inquiry without so much as considering the impacts to their own brand and profit margin.
“Thanks for pointing this out to us,” they told the reporters. “We have manually removed our ads from Rumble.”
Not all companies were as quick to rush to judgment.
The News Movement said it had “approached other brands including Ralph Lauren, eBay and Hilton hotels, whose ads all came up on Brand’s channel but none replied to requests for comment.”
Although he is, in most respects, a left-wing figure, Brand has recently become a prominent anti-Establishment critic of issues like COVID vaccine mandates, the Ukraine war and globalist conspiracies such as the World Economic Forum’s efforts to effect a “Great Reset”—imposing a sort of feudal serfdom that seeks to abolish private property, blot out the sun and eat bugs instead of meat.
These puppet leaders will convene in New York for the 78th UNGA's "High-Level week" starting tomorrow.
This year's theme is:
"Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace,… pic.twitter.com/rWe34wMlOF
— Noor Bin Ladin (@NoorBinLadin) September 17, 2023
The arbitrary attempt to cancel Brand based on such thinly sourced claims with no allegations of criminal conduct—all while giving leftists a free pass for engaging openly in far worse examples of sexual deviancy and depravity—has led some to suspect that the entire thing is little more than a politically motivated smear attack.
“This has nothing to do with sexual assault allegations in the press,” wrote conservative pundit JD Rucker in a blog post Thursday for the America First Report.
“In fact, this doesn’t really have anything to do with Russell Brand on a individual level,” Rucker added. “He’s simply a vessel through which the powers-that-be are … sending the message to others who may challenge the prescribed globalist/leftist/
Rucker said that the elites orchestrating this smear campaign also hoped to float a “trial balloon” to see how members of the public reacted.
“They know that freedom-lovers will denounce the efforts against Brand whether we like him or not, whether we believe him or not, because he is being destroyed without trial or even rebuttal,” Rucker said. “What the powers-that-be want to know is if the indoctrinated masses can be made to accept this type of government overreach.”
Accordingly, if companies like Burger King and HelloFresh get their way and force Rumble to cave, then it is free speech and individual liberty for all that is at stake.
Governments and corporations will have the power to silence private citizens at their will under any pretense they may find disagreeable.
Already YouTube—the streaming platform owned by the notoriously woke $1.6 trillion Google conglomeration—was quick to cancel Brand, despite allowing actual convicted felons charged with actual sex crimes involving children to continue making money on the platform.
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) September 19, 2023
But while companies that are powerful enough to inoculate themselves against such boycotts, or that cater predominately to left-wing clientele, may be able to make woke marketing judgments with impunity, Burger King, for one, may not be so lucky.
Similar to the highly successful conservative boycott of Bud Light, which brought the once-popular Anheuser–Busch swill crashing down from its dominant share in the beer market after it betrayed customer values by hiring transgender Dylan Mulvaney as a brand ambassador, the burger joint may find that conservatives comprise a large share of its U.S. market.
A Sunday morning tweet from conservative radio host Dan Bongino about the corporate efforts to punish Rumble had garnered more than 400,000 views by the evening and was well on its way to going viral with nearly 3,000 shares.
Other users expressed their outrage and hinted at trouble ahead for the companies that had sided against free speech and in favor of spurious rape allegations.
Looks like we’ll be canceling our @HelloFresh subscription.
— ThatNewsReporter (@that_reporter) September 23, 2023
By all means, let's give Burger King the Bud Light treatment.
— Chris Chambers (@ChrisB_Chambers) September 23, 2023
Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.