Over the weekend, America’s favorite faux-folksy diner/knickknack chain became the newest front in the culture wars when they removed any trace of Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson from all their stores. It didn’t turn out so well for them, and the way they’ve waved the white flag is instructive.
From Cracker Barrel’s Facebook page, 7:51pm on 12/20:
Cracker Barrel’s mission is Pleasing People. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture.
We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores.
We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation.
We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so.
Less than 40 hours later, somebody in the corporate office yelled: “Duck!!!”
Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:
When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.
You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.
Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.
And, we apologize for offending you.
We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.
We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.
The change in tone from the first statement to the second is remarkable. Gone are the vague, politically correct euphemisms to sugar-coat their capitulation to the fascist bullying tactics of groups like GLAAD. Just a direct, plainspoken apology. They screwed up, they offended their own customers to satisfy the whims of the outrage industry, and they’re sorry. That’s how you do it.
I wonder how many empty tables they had to look at on Saturday?
Okay, then, let the liberal and LGBT boycott of Cracker Barrel begin. That’s such a huge customer base for them. It’ll be devastating.
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) December 23, 2013