James Bodenstedt, the Muy Cos. CEO who owns several Wendy's outlets across the country, made the donation in May.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of the police has stirred numerous demonstrations and protests across the country. The anger and injustice that took place has shaken the nation and engulfed it in a revolutionary spirit. Since a lot of the dissent is being expressed towards the Trump administration and their response to these protests, fast food brand Wendy's have recently come under fire as well. The hashtag #wendysisoverparty has been trending on Twitter as those supporting the protests have pointed out that James Bodenstedt, the Muy Cos. CEO, supported Trump with huge donations.
Bodenstedt owns and operates several of Wendy's outlets as well as those such as Taco Bells and Pizza Hut. He has supported Trump with donations of up to $440,000 and is also rooting for his re-election this November. The near-half a million-dollar donation came back in May towards his 2020 presidential campaign. In March, he donated $200,000 to the Trump Victory PAC, a joint fundraising committee working for Trump, reports Business Insider.
While that news was confirmed, it was also noted that Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor has not made any direct donation to the Trump campaign. Although Bodenstedt's decision to donate to and support Trump's re-election campaign occurred some time ago, the frenzied criticism has resurfaced now that the president is also under fire due to the protests. In such a turbulent time, Trump has not offered any reassurances over the crimes committed by the police officers and continues to threaten protestors with serious action, such as calling the army and shooting American citizens.
CEO James Bodenstedt of Muy Cos operates Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut franchises across the United States.— The Rube Report (@GuadalahonkyToo) June 1, 2020
CEO Bodenstedt is a major donor to Trump, having donated $440,000, including $200,000 to the Trump Victory PAC on March 12.https://t.co/hIb7xlp5qd
Trump had previously set up a roundtable which Bodenstedt was a part of. He was among the few others who were called by the president to advise the government on how to open the industry in the midst of the coronavirus threat. Others on the board were Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO as well as Restaurant Brands International CEO Jose Cil, who owns the Burger King and Popeyes brands.
After #WendysIsOverParty trended this week, fast food giant @Wendys released a statement saying their brand has not made a donation to any presidential campaign. To clarify, an individual #Wendys franchisee did, but not the parent company. https://t.co/SOagSkH0Wr— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) June 4, 2020
Bodenstedt's company was actually the first fast-food franchise to advise the White House on the pandemic. While Wendy's brand has been suffering as a result of Bodenstedt's actions, a report in the Milwaukee Journal highlighted that the other brands under his company - Taco Bell and Pizza Hut has not suffered as much. Lonely Boyo expressed his anger at Wendy's when he wrote: First time in a while I’ve thought a “blank is over party” is justified, f**k you @Wendys I genuinely mean that #WendysIsOverParty. User BBY TOXICO stated: I’m glad people are calling out all the companies that have donated to trumps campaign. I hope we all listen and stop supporting them until they make a change adding on to the #WendysIsOverParty.
David Leavitt wrote he was ashamed of Wendy's and added: Well Looks like @Wendys supports #DictatorTrump. Shame I can never eat there again, I really enjoyed the 4 for $4. Wendys supports a “man” who supports turning the military on us and systemic racism. #wendysisoverparty. Tyronne Finness highlighted he will not buy another product from the brand: #WendysIsOverParty Wendy’s is supporting Trump?! I’m not buying a nugget, frosty, nothing. F*ck Wendy’s. Then there were those who tried to make a differentiation between the owner of Wendy's versus the company that just owns a number of the brand's outlets. One such person, Ed, wrote: Everyone trying to cancel out Wendy’s because they see a headline but don’t bother to read the article.
Aside from Bodenstedt, billionaire Tilman Fertitta, as well as the CEO of Landry's that owns restaurant brands such as Del Frisco's Bubba Gump's and Joe's Crab Shack, were also part of the roundtable. Fertitta ended up donating $35,000 to the Trump Victory PAC in February, so one wonders if we will also see a public boycott of these brands too in the days to come.