President-elect Donald J. Trump built his campaign on strong and decidedly politically incorrect rhetoric, amassing a reputation as a sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic candidate. While refreshingly honest for some, many Americans felt threatened by his claims, hoping for a more clean-cut cabinet to balance his volatility and brashness.
Rather, Trump’s cabinet choices–not surprisingly–carry many of the same values as the President-elect, and some also bring similar controversial baggage. Trump recently appointed Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of fast food giants Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., as his secretary of labor. Puzder’s political conservatism and billionaire background are in line with many of Trump’s other adviser or cabinet selections.
And Puzder also brings his share of controversy to the table. In May 2015, Puzder’s companies Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. launched their Super Bowl ad, which amounts to little more than babes in bikinis. Oh yeah, with burgers. This promotion marks ten years of sexy sales, beginning in 2005 with a scantily-clad Paris Hilton washing a Bentley. Many were outraged, claiming the Hilton ad, as well as the most recent ad, to be just shy of pornographic.
Puzder, currently 66 years old, responded that the entirety of the campaign is aimed at “young hungry guys,” and stimulating all of their appetites. He goes on to say that his marketing strategy is as personally satisfying as it is economically effective: “I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.”
The response was overwhelming–over 13 million views (as of Dec. 12, 2016) and counting. A quick scroll through the comments section reads much like the comments of a PornHub video:
One user comments, “in the beginning her t— are soo [sic] huge,” while another replies to a female user’s lament, “This objectifying s— needs to stop,” with “Quitcha [sic] squawking and show us your t—.”
“Very American” indeed, when compared to the objectifying rhetoric of the U.S. President-elect, who has run the gambit from overtly sexualizing his daughter to confessing to “grabbing [women] by the p—-.”
As much as Mr. Trump and his supporters justify his own sexist and objectifying rhetoric, Trump’s actions are louder than words, and his appointment of the vulgar Puzder speaks volumes to American women everywhere.