Social media smackdown! Amy Schumer, Alyssa Milano blast Wendy’s on Instagram, Twitter!

On Sunday, comedian, actor and advocate Amy Schumer took to Instagram to blast Wendy’s – and, by the way, reveal the gender of her soon-to-be-born son! – garnering hundreds of thousands of responses and widespread coverage on traditional media within hours.

Wendy’s attempt to leverage pop culture and social media goes terribly awry, as comedian/actor/activist Amy Schumer leverages her own much-anticipated baby gender reveal with a heartfelt call to Boycott Wendy’s!  Alyssa Milano followed suit, and it was game over…

Within hours, #BoycottWendys was trending on Twitter and Instagram, and millions of consumers were learning of the nationwide boycott, as news of the campaign spread across USA Today, People Magazine, E! News Online, Fox News, and more!

From the Live by the sword/Die by the sword Department…

In order to fully understand today’s story, it is necessary first to learn a tidbit of internet trivia.  It is a fact of the ever-evolving world of social media that hamburger giant Wendy’s once briefly held the title for the most retweeted tweet ever – beating out Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Oscar selfie when a customer’s tweeted request for a year’s supply of free nuggets garnered nearly 3.5 million re-tweets in 2017 (in response to a challenge by the company to collect 18 million retweets).  The feat won kudos for Wendy’s PR shop and established Wendy’s as the cheekiest fast-food presence on social media, a status the company has been working hard to maintain ever since.

And so it came as no surprise when, yesterday morning, Wendy’s reached to catch that sweet viral lightning in a bottle a second time, jumping on a tweet by popular hip hop artist Chance the Rapper in which he asked the company to bring back its spicy chicken nuggets.  In response, Wendy’s promised to bring back the nuggets if Chance the Rapper could come up with 2 million likes.  Their hope was to repeat the magic of the 2017 retweet gambit and generate positive social media buzz.  

But what the internet giveth, it can brutally taketh away.  Instead of a flood of retweets and the heady dopamine rush of free publicity, the move brought the full fury of the internet down on Wendy’s and resulted in perhaps the single biggest day of publicity for the Wendy’s Boycott – thanks to a brilliant play by comedian, actor, and Fair Food ally Amy Schumer.

For a summary of what, exactly, unfolded on social media yesterday, we turn to Romper – one of many online news hubs that picked up on the story of the Wendy’s Boycott:

Comedian Amy Schumer is known for being a little unpredictable — and no one could have predicted that she would reveal her baby’s sex in an Instagram post this weekend. But that’s exactly what she did on Sunday. I know what you’re thinking — is Amy Schumer having a boy or a girl? It’s going to be a boy for Schumer and her husband, Chris Fischer.

The hilarious actress took to social media to make a powerful statement about Wendy’s — the fast food chain — and throw a very important announcement in there. If it sounds a little out of the ordinary, it’s because this announcement is a little out of the ordinary. It involves a few key players and a secret announcement thrown in there.

Over the weekend, Chance the Rapper started a campaign to get Wendy’s tobring back their spicy chicken nuggets, according to Uproxx. Wendy’s agreed under one condition — their tweet had to get 2 million likes. Schumer took note of this and decided to bring attention to a problem involving the fast food chain.

“Hey! We love Chance The Rapper and hate to be the ones to tell him that Wendy’s is the only fast food chain refusing to protect farm working women from sexual assault and rape in the fields,” Schumer wrote in the caption of the photo. “This is true. Please read that sentence again. Message for the people in charge: Instead of spicy nuggets we want food that is harvested with dignity NOT with violence…also we’re having a boy.”

Yeah, she went there. A representative for Wendy’s did not respond to Romper’s request for comment.

What Schumer is referring to is the movement to boycott the fast food chain. According to the website for the boycott, Wendy’s is not protecting their workers against sexual violence or other human rights abuses by refusing to join the Fair Food Program. The Fair Food Program makes sure that farm workers are protected from things like poverty or sexual harassment. A petition has been created to demand that Wendy’s join the Fair Food Program, just like McDonald’s and Burger King has. Wendy’s is the last of the five major fast food corporations to not join the program, according to the petition. The easiest way for Wendy’s to protect these workers is by joining the program, according to the petition. It’s as simple as that.

Schumer was calling attention to this, and it’s a great way for her to use her platform. Needless to say, her followers were taken a little aback by the announcement.

“Best gender reveal ever,” one commenter wrote.

“I was literally on the way to Wendy’s,” one commenter stated. “Thank you for spreading this information.”

“Amazing message!,” another commenter added. “Your boy will be a good human. When are you due? You’ve been pregnant forever!”

Schumer might not be too happy to hear that.

Now that fans know her baby’s sex, they’re one step closer to meeting her newest addition. And this was definitely the way to make that announcement.

Clearly, Amy is ready to raise her son in a world that respects all women – including those harvest our food – and by ushering him into the world with a brilliant and heartfelt act of solidarity with farmworker women, she is showing him how we can build that world together.

Within hours of the challenge, actress and Fair Food stalwart Alyssa Milano had joined Amy Schumer and thousands of other Fair Food activists on social media in blasting Wendy’s and demanding that the hamburger giant join all of its major fast-food competitors in adding one truly essential ingredient to its menu: human rights.

And the pressure didn’t stop there.  Several of the world’s top news and pop culture networks covered Amy’s big reveal and Wendy’s Boycott alert, including USA Today, Fox NewsPeople Magazine, E News Online, and more!

For just a taste of the news from the entertainment world, below is the coverage from Perez Hilton’s entertainment news hub, in its entirety:

Amy Schumer Asks Fans To Boycott Wendy’s — While Revealing The Gender Of Her First Child!

This was quite the memorable gender reveal!!!

Amy Schumer shared on Sunday morning that while her first baby isn’t quite here yet (well, as far as we know), at least we can all know the gender of the child, now: it’s a boy!!!

The 37-year-old actress made the big reveal on Sunday afternoon in a new Instagrampost that took an entirely different turn at first, before burying the lede and showing off the fact that her and husband Chris Fischer were soon to be parents of a newborn baby boy!

At first, though, the post is a pretty strong boycott of fast food chain Wendy’s, due to what Schumer argues are poor practice to keep female farm workers safe from rape and sexual assault. It’s a very serious issue and claim, and Schumer’s unique idea to use it to co-opt her gender reveal announcement has brought a LOT of eyes to Wendy’s alleged desire to look the other way on sexual assault.

Snapping a pic of her pediatrician’s office (which, Bravo cost Andy Cohen commented, is also the one he uses!), Schumer added this caption to it (below):

Wow! She certainly didn’t hold back there, knowing her gender reveal post would like gain her lots of attention.

And she was right! It worked!!!

Finally, here’s just a quick selection of the social media posts that came rolling in over the course of Sunday afternoon and evening (though all you have to do is pull up #BoycottWendys for hundreds more!):

And the discussion didn’t stop with longtime supporters of the CIW.  Upon learning about Wendy’s refusal to join the Program, some people even took back their like and instead joined the boycott!

Leading public figures like Amy Schumer and Alyssa Milano are adding their voices to the growing chorus of farmworker women and men — and countless everyday consumers — who are rightly appalled at Wendy’s resistance to long-overdue progress. Wendy’s stubborn refusal to join the Fair Food Program has gone on long enough, and the longer they hold out, the louder the calls to boycott Wendy’s will be.

Stay tuned on social media as the story develops! And, we’ll close with sending a heartfelt congratulations from Immokalee to Amy and her husband as they welcome their baby boy into the world!