Media mogul Byron Allen on Friday called on the board of directors of McDonald’s Corp. to fire CEO Chris Kempczinski in the wake of newly surfaced text remarks that have inflamed racial tensions over the death of two Black children.
Kempczinski’s text exchange with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in April reportedly blamed the parents of Adam Toledo and Jaslyn Adams, at least in part, for their deaths. Adams was shot and killed by a gunman while sitting in a car at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Chicago in April. Toledo was killed by a Chicago Police officer in March.
The exchange came to light through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Vancouver-based Michael Kessler and Lucy Parsons Labs. Kempczinski apologized earlier this week to McDonald’s employees for his remarks, saying, “When I wrote this, I was thinking through my lens as a parent and reacted viscerally. But I have not walked in the shoes of Adam’s or Jaslyn’s family and so many others who are facing a very different reality.”
McDonald's did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Allen's call for Kempczinski's firing.
Allen and McDonald’s have tangled in the past. In May, Allen filed a $10 billion lawsuit alleging the company had intentionally discriminated against his company Entertainment Studios and its Weather Group through “a pattern of racial stereotyping and refusals to contract.”