Updated 03:34 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 18, 2021

James Franco’s Letter to McDonald’s Slammed by Netizens

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You can never really tell what crazy antic James Franco is going to do next, but his appreciation for a certain fastfood joint had people puzzled, and others, angry.

According to HitFix, netizens slammed the Oscar-winning actor in his new op-ed about McDonald's in a recent edition of the Washington Post, which Time Magazine noted as something more of a love letter for the chain than anything else. A contributor for Mother Jones, for instance, very angrily wrote a piece called "You're Really Going to Hate James Franco's Offensive Nostalgia Trip to McDonald's."

What exactly did the eccentric Hollywood star write that earned him such ire?

Well, in the op-ed titled "McDonald's was there for me when no one else was," Franco explained how the fastfood chain helped him in his career by giving him the platform to exercise different accents.

He also wrote, "I was treated fairly well at McDonald's. If anything, they cut me slack. And, just like their food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need. I still love the simplicity of the McDonald's hamburger and its salty fries. After reading 'Fast Food Nation,' it's hard for me to trust the grade of the meat. But maybe once a year, while on a road trip or out in the middle of nowhere for a movie, I'll stop by a McDonald's and get a simple cheeseburger: light, and airy, and satisfying."

First, some of you might admit that yes, McDonald's is kind of a guilty pleasure, especially when you just really need a quick bite of burger and fries. But in the midst of the franchise's declining profits and wage protests, Franco's praise is not exactly in the best of taste.

CNN Money, for instance, noted that although Franco used the chain as a stepping stone to go for his dreams as an actor, not everyone is afforded the same privilege. As the news outlet put it, "Advocates fighting for better wages and working conditions at McDonald's argue that most fast-food wrokers are not in fact teenagers and struggling actors...Nearly 40% of fast food workers are 25 or older, while 30% are teenagers, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Most make more than the federal minimum wage, but 70% are making $10.09 an hour or less."

As for the protests, McDonald's finally responded with a plan to raise starting wages by $1 an hour for "company-owned restaurants in the US," which means about 90,000 workers will get a raise come July, Business Insider, noted. But as written in the company's press release, "More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women." The company is also planning to enforce its restructuring strategy soon and Franco totally supports it, saying in his op-ed, "I want the [restructuring] strategy to work. All I know is that when I needed McDonald's, McDonald's was there for me. When no one else was." 

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