Mark Ruffalo and Veronica Valencia speaking at Emerald City Comic Con 2023

Creators Rightfully Angry Over Chick-fil-A’s Presence at Emerald City Comic Con

Creators at Emerald City Comic Con are understandably upset that the convention has made the odd decision to welcome Chick-fil-A into the exhibition hall.

Recommended Videos

Chick-fil-A is arguably more well-known for its controversies than for its chicken sandwiches. The fast food chain was founded by prominent Southern Baptist S. Truett Cathy and his wife, Jeannette. Together, the pair established the charitable organization WindShape Foundation. Since 2003, the organization has donated enormous sums to notorious anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Marriage & Family Foundation, Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family.

Given the close connection between Chick-fil-A and WindShape, the restaurant has, in the past, been a major donor to the charity. Although Chick-fil-A reportedly stopped making direct donations to at least some anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2012, Chairman Dan Cathy has not stopped personally donating to these groups and voicing his anti-LGBTQ views.

Hence, many try to steer clear of Chick-fil-A due to recognizing that the money the company’s executives earn from customers will likely end up being funneled into hateful organizations. Unfortunately, the franchise continues to expand as conservatives use it as an opportunity to flaunt their hatred. With the chain owning over 3,000 restaurants across America, it can sometimes be challenging to get away from it. Most would have assumed that a comic book convention, at least, would be a safe place from reminders of Chick-fil-A’s homophobia, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at Emerald City Comic Con.

Artist slams ECCC for Chick-fil-A’s presence

Comic artist Alina Pete revealed Chick-fil-A’s presence at ECCC in a post to Bluesky. On February 28, they posted, “Whose F*****G idea was it to let Chik Fil A into the exhibit hall?” They explained that the organization is deeply transphobic and homophobic and how it made their “blood boil” just to have to see its signs in the hall. On top of that, the restaurant was apparently frying food at its booth, as Pete complained about “breathing in smoke and hot oil all weekend.” Fellow creators Steve Horton and Jodie Troutman also expressed concern about the situation in comments on Pete’s post.

It’s an incredibly odd decision, given that ECCC has often prided itself on being inclusive. The event is hosted by ReedPop, whose vice president, Kristina Rogers, recently spoke to LGBTQIA+ news outlet SGN about her passion for equality, equity, and inclusion. The business is always looking for more diverse panels, guests, and events. Additionally, ECCC partnered with Free2Luv to create an annual Pride Lounge where members of the LGBTQ+ community can decompress and enjoy a safe space. So, having Chick-fil-A, which has donated millions to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations, seems counterintuitive to ECCC’s inclusive efforts.

So far, Pete appears to be the only creator who has publicly addressed Chick-fil-A’s presence at the convention. ECCC’s website does not list it—or, it seems, any food or beverage vendor—as an exhibitor, so it’s difficult to verify the restaurant’s inclusion. The con’s FAQ page also touts a “food guide” new Food Guide” that does not seem to exist, though the Seattle Convention Center, where ECCC is held, has hosted Chick-fil-A as recently as last month.

This also wouldn’t be the first time ReedPop has made questionable decisions like this. Last year, its MCM London Comic Con was going to host a Harry Potter panel despite the J. K. Rowlings’ transphobic views. After backlash, the convention decided to pull the panel. It’s still concerning, though, that an organization that prioritizes inclusivity isn’t more thoroughly vetting vendors and panels for its conventions.

If Chick-fil-A was at ECCC, it would’ve had to have filed an application and received explicit approval to be there. Considering how well its controversies and anti-LGBTQ views are known, it’s concerning and disappointing that the fast food chain was allowed into a convention that has explicitly taken measures to be a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community.

(featured image: Mat Hayward / Getty)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Could Stray Kids’ Summer Plans Include New Music?
The eight members of Stray Kids in a promotiona picture for their comeback ODDITY
Read Article Hannah Waddingham Rightfully Calls Out Gross Photographer’s Inappropriate Comments
Hannah Waddingham with her arms raised while on stage
Read Article JonTron’s Fans Think He’s ‘Winning at Life,’ but His Controversies Say Otherwise
Jonathan Jafari holds a bird in a video on his YouTube channel JonTron
Read Article JoJo Siwa Sure Is Stirring Up Controversies With Her ‘Rebrand’
JoJo Siwa with a mic in her hand on stage
Read Article All ‘X-Men 97’ Episode Titles, Explained
The X-Men stand together in 'X-Men '97'.
Related Content
Read Article Could Stray Kids’ Summer Plans Include New Music?
The eight members of Stray Kids in a promotiona picture for their comeback ODDITY
Read Article Hannah Waddingham Rightfully Calls Out Gross Photographer’s Inappropriate Comments
Hannah Waddingham with her arms raised while on stage
Read Article JonTron’s Fans Think He’s ‘Winning at Life,’ but His Controversies Say Otherwise
Jonathan Jafari holds a bird in a video on his YouTube channel JonTron
Read Article JoJo Siwa Sure Is Stirring Up Controversies With Her ‘Rebrand’
JoJo Siwa with a mic in her hand on stage
Read Article All ‘X-Men 97’ Episode Titles, Explained
The X-Men stand together in 'X-Men '97'.
Author
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.