CHICAGO (WGN) — The CEO of McDonald’s has sparked backlash after text messages he sent Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot revealed that he blamed the parents of two children who were fatally shot in the city.
The victim-blaming texts that Chris Kempczinski sent Lightfoot were recently publicized after a meeting between them two in April. In the messages, Kempczinski blamed the deaths of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams on their parents.
“With both, the parents failed those kids which I know is something you can’t say. Even harder to fix,” said the text, according to the Chicago Tribune. Adams was killed in a shooting at the drive-thru at a West Side McDonald’s. Just a few weeks prior, Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago officer during a foot chase.
A spokesperson for Lightfoot criticized the CEO’s comments in a statement Tuesday and said victim-blaming has no place in the conversation. A protest was to be held Wednesday at McDonald’s headquarters in the West Loop in response to the CEO’s comments.
Kempczinski apologized, saying his words were “wrong and lacked the empathy and compassion I feel for these families.”