Popeyes Sold “Emotional Support Chicken” At Philadelphia Airport Yesterday

This year US airlines have started to crack down on emotional support animals, with Delta (for example) introducing restrictions on them three separate times. This followed airlines seeing a huge increase in both the number and types of emotional support animals that people traveled with.

While dogs have been a long time favorite, we’ve also seen turkeys, peacocks, hamsters, and more, make headlines.

To capitalize a bit on all of this talk and controversy, Popeyes Chicken did something pretty hilarious at Philadelphia Airport yesterday. For one day only, they sold “emotional support chicken.”

Basically they just sold chicken in boxes that said “Emotional Support Chicken,” with the following message on the box:

This chicken provides comfort and nourishment during stressful air travel. Unlike other chicken, it is marinated in real Louisiana spices for 12 hours and must be permitted to fly without restrictions. Do note leave unattended, as Popeyes is not responsible for lost or stolen chicken.

Obviously they were taking advantage of what’s commonly used as a point of humor, given how ridiculous some people have gotten with emotional support animals. Like most things nowadays, this campaign has also gotten some backlash.

Specifically, those with “legitimate” disabilities are talking about how people being ridiculed for having ESAs makes it harder for them to travel, and this just makes things even worse.

I get that perspective, though;

  • First of all, there’s a difference between emotional support animals and service animals, and the validity of any service animals is not being brought into question here (this includes dogs for the blind, etc.)
  • Even among those with a “legitimate” need for an emotional support animal (or more legitimate than those who just get “certified” online for a small payment), there are a lot of questions regarding how effective ESAs are to begin with

What do you guys think — was this campaign from Popeyes funny or inappropriate?

Comments

  1. This tasty chicken sure provides emotional support while in economy class on a transcon! Calms hangry passengers right down.

  2. Funny. People can take their outrage to their doctors where they can get viable treatments and therapy for any mental health problems they would like help with.

  3. I think it would be fine as a gag for a stand-up comedian, but perhaps ill advised and in bad taste (pun intended) for a national restaurant chain.

  4. Popeye’s Chicken has provided me a lot of emotional support over the years. There was one across the street from where my Grad school was. I practically lived off of Popeye’s Chicken Biscuits.

  5. @Muslim Debit

    Totally appropriate for an unhinged Liberal like you to convert to your favorite’s President religion.

    Actually my father is from the Middle East and evolved FROM Islam to Christianism, but you lefties always go in the opposite direction.

    Back to the post, funny AF

  6. That is the funniest crap I’ve seen in a while!! I would’ve bought extra and passed it around on the plane just to support it! All the bleeding butthurt PC morons who cry about this can go die. I love the humor. Someone will always be offended no matter what you do, so I say go big or go home, and ignore the minority who are always offended. Who cares what the small minority of perpetually offended people think anyway?

  7. Please don’t take delicious smelling fried chicken onto the plane unless you’re bringing enough for everyone.

  8. You need all the emotional support you can get if you dare eat some of the garbage I’ve seen passing for in-flight meals lately…

  9. Still waiting for airlines to allow emotional support AR-15.

    The system(country) is retarded, let’s see how far it goes.

  10. You know, I thought it was funny until I saw a bunch of Idiots gloating about it in the comments. Then I realised that there are actually jerks out there who just like to do things for the sole purpose of hurting other people. Then all of a sudden, it wasn’t funny any more.

  11. I’m outraged as I am saddened
    This is insulating to all my Real emotional support animals
    Peacock fish dog cat pig lama squirrel etc

  12. Despite the fact that Popeye’s chicken is delicious, this joke is in poor taste. Is mocking disabilities in vogue now? Perhaps they could put breast and wing pieces in a wheelchair box next time, call it “legless” and see how that goes over? Or include legs and thighs, but no breasts, for Breast Cancer Awareness? Hilarious.

  13. George – it’s not that I/we actually like seeing people upset, it’s that the fact that people actually *could* get upset about this is what’s funny. I mean we’ve all seen the emotional support peacock and squirrel viral pictures. Besides those two crazy individuals, who actually thinks that these exotic or primitive animals are real ESA and thus this could be offensive.

  14. Rob, I sort of agree with George. This product pokes fun at the idea of people needing/taking along emotional support animals. Of course there are cases of abusing the rules or just showing off, but some people do have emotional/psychological issues, and for them their pets are a great help – which does not mean that all of them should be transported in the passenger cabin. Some people keep chickens as pets. To them it is saying: your emotional attachment to your pet is ridiculous, have some fried chicken instead.

  15. Let’s frame the question another way… Would we be spoofing someone with a physical disability who needed a cane, crutch, or wheelchair on board? I think the reason that this touches a nerve is not because it’s not funny, or that it’s not PC, but because in 2018, mental health still has second class status vis a vis physical illness.

    While I agree that there are it’s easier to fake emotional illness over physical, our anger should be directed at those who abuse the system, not those who genuinely need it.

  16. @JuanM, the fact you get a rise out of other people being offended by this suggests you lack empathy and you need to see a psychologist about the symptoms of Narcissism you are expressing in your comment. And the fact you describe these people as “butthurt” is homophobic and just doesn’t belong on this blog. Go get some help dude. You are messed up in the head.

  17. I would buy that chicken just for the box (although I’m sure the chicken is delicious)!
    On the notion of ESA’s, even though I love my animals dearly, to take any one of them on a plane trip, would be the most stressful experience for both of us I could imagine.
    I call BS on the whole ESA thing, and the airlines who got suckered into and legitimized the concept.

  18. I’ve got an emotional support dog. He’d love to eat that emotional support chicken.

    *I have paperwork granting my dog ESA status based on a true, full disability that he really does help mitigate. No, I don’t need him to fly. I would actually prefer to not take him on a plane! But he would love that chicken.

  19. @[email protected]
    You hypocrite, you blindlessly blame frat boys for this. For all we know it could be a Muslim African American lesbian with an actual emotional support chicken who thought of this. Which by the way if one race can use the N-word, why can’t ESA chicken owners think of this??

    @Adi_T
    Will you make fun of people who ‘claim’ that they need an emotional support AR-15 with bump stock.

    Mental issue is not the problem here, the A part of ESA is. People like you who defend frogs reptiles chicken pony pig etc. on the plane is making the problem worse.

    Wait till some wiseguy fly his gf for free citing her as his emotional support. Yes a corrupted doctor signed off.

    Like @lucky most if not all of us probably won’t have issues with ‘properly trained’ service animals.

  20. @BBK You may want to check a dictionary because I don’t think Christianism means what you think it does…

  21. Funny. I believe I have a right to feel amused and to ignore folks with tight anal sphincters from time to time. I feel for folks with a real need for ESAs. I have a client who has and needs one. However this joke is not directed towards them. It is poking fun at the people who are abusing the system.

  22. @Eskimo:

    That is a red herring. No one is advocating frogs or ponies (or spouses) as ESAs. As far as I am aware, ONLY dogs and cats are currently qualified and trainable as emotional support animals. I agree that there are people who will go through ludicrous lengths to abuse the system but that’s the people’s faults, not the policy’s per se.

  23. Adi_T, I think you do not have the ESA concept quite right. Service animals (mostly dogs) are trained, ESAs are just pets that are supposed to bring emotional relief to people suffering from psychological issues (anxiety, depression), there is no defined restriction on what that animal can be. There is a sort of intermediate category of therapy animals that offer the same psychological comfort as an ESAs but to a wider group of people (elderly, patients, etc.) – these require some training or must be naturally adjusted to contact with strangers.

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