The chief executive of McDonald’s has apologised after activists said a text he sent about shootings in Chicago was “ignorant, racist and unacceptable”.
Chris Kempczinski wrote in a text message that the deaths were “tragic”, adding that “with both, the parents failed those kids which I know is something you can’t say. Even harder to fix.”
The message was sent to Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot in April, a day after the fatal shooting of a black girl and Hispanic boy at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the city’s West Side.
Community activists and union leaders in Chicago are demanding that he sit down with workers from ethnic minority backgrounds to “address systemic racism” at the fast-food giant in response to his text message.
In an open letter signed by a dozen groups last week, Mr Kempczinski was given a Wednesday deadline to meet with employees and community leaders in the city.
He has apologised repeatedly in the wake of the text’s public release.
Mr Kempczinski told staff his messages were “wrong”, adding: “I’m sorry I let you down. And I let myself down.”
He said he has a “very narrow worldview” due to his own background and that his comments showed his ignorance.