Perdue Chicken Falls Prey To Backlash Over Senator’s Racist Mocking Of Harris’ Name

A recently recruited employee who wants to stay anonymous answers an AFP journalist's questions outside the Perdue Farms Chicken and poultry processing factory on May 2, 2020 in Salibury, Maryland. - Coronavirus case... A recently recruited employee who wants to stay anonymous answers an AFP journalist's questions outside the Perdue Farms Chicken and poultry processing factory on May 2, 2020 in Salibury, Maryland. - Coronavirus cases have recently spiked in the poultry farms and plants - one of the main local industry of the Delmarva Peninsula. Mostly Haitians and Latino workers are employed in this essential business for the regional economy as they can't afford to miss work for fear of losing their jobs. (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 19, 2020 12:24 p.m.

The backlash over Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) disdainfully mocking Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) first name during President Trump’s campaign rally on Friday quickly went from the political arena to the world of poultry over the weekend.

The Twitter account of Perdue Chicken — the Maryland-based poultry giant that is unaffiliated with the Georgia senator — spent the weekend, and even Monday morning, responding to angry comments by reminding people that they’re just a chicken company.

Sen. Perdue’s campaign dismissed the backlash by saying in a statement released on Friday that the lawmaker had “simply mispronounced Sen. Harris’s name, and he didn’t mean anything by it.”

Perdue, who has served in the Senate with Harris for several years, further brushed off the controversy on Saturday by telling reporters that he meant “absolutely no disrespect” to Biden’s VP pick, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

By Sunday evening, Perdue’s Democratic rival Jon Ossoff raised more than $1.8 million from at least 42,000 donors since Perdue’s racist gambit, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Twitter account for Perdue Chicken spent the weekend responding to users who called for a boycott of the poultry brand over the Georgia senator’s effort to otherize Harris — who he referred to as “Kamala, -mala, -mala, I don’t know, whatever” to jeers of laughter from Trump supporters — by assuring them that the brand has no affiliation with the lawmaker.

“I can assure you that David Perdue has no affiliation with the Perdue brand,” read the company’s replies over the weekend.

Perdue Chicken did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

The Twitter account for Perdue Chicken has continued clarifying for users critical of the Georgia senator’s mockery of Harris as recently as Monday morning.

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