Dan Cathy, CEO of the popular fast-food chain at the time, had publicly stated the company's belief that true marriage was defined as one man and one woman – i.e., in accordance with the Bible. As a result, Chick-fil-A began to feel the wrath of the LGBTQ movement and was being shut out of left-leaning major cities like New York, Boston and Chicago.
Huckabee took to social media and asked people to simply eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1, 2012 – which turned out to be a huge success for the company and its customer base. But now …
"It's one of the big regrets of my life," Huckabee said Monday on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins. "They've bought into the lie."
And he took a new stance on Chick-fil-A after the company took a new stance on values, Huckabee shared.
"Chick-fil-A Day" was nine years ago. Since that time, the company:
- Has ended its financial support for Christian groups like the Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
- Then-CEO Dan Cathy in 2020 was criticized for his symbolic shoe-shine gesture while calling for "a sense of shame, a sense of embarrassment yet with an apologetic heart" from white people to black people. Cathy was replaced by his son, Andrew Truett Cathy, as Chick-fil-A CEO in 2021.
- Has created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) position.
The public outcry over the DEI position came recently as Chick-fil-A released its own progress report on company "social responsibility goals."
Huckabee (right) told show host Tony Perkins that Chick-fil-A has abandoned its core support group. "They started moving closer and closer to the very people who showed them nothing but hate. The company has really decided to go full-bore woke. It's really disturbing."
Huckabee compared Chick-fil-A's new corporate approach to middle school insecurity.
"They have injected themselves into the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion model. What they're basically saying is, 'We want to be able to sit at the cool kids' table. We don't want to be over there by ourselves anymore. We don't want people to make fun of us or point their fingers at us. We don't want to be isolated from the cool kids. We want to sit at their table.'"
Few distinguishable differences remain
According to Huckabee, one remaining distinguishable difference is that Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday. "[But] not being open on a particular day doesn't erase what you really stand for," he added.
But perhaps there's one other difference between Chick-fil-A and other fast-food chains. Many local store owners – some who may have sought out Chick-fil-A for its values – have seen this corporate philosophical shift play out before their eyes.
"I feel deeply for the people who are the owner-operators of Chick-fil-A restaurants, most all of whom are deeply-devoted believers. This is not what they embrace," Huckabee said. "This is hurting their business, their ability to do the life they want to do. That's unfortunate, but it doesn't look like Chick-fil-A is going to reverse course. It looks like they're going all in on this left-wing, really unbiblical worldview."
The company Huckabee once enthusiastically stood behind, even rallied his social media following to support amid the restaurant's trials and challenges, is no different in his mind than Popeyes, KFC or Canes.
"My attitude about Chick-fil-A is that they're just another company selling chicken," he stated.