McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski recorded a video this weekend apologizing after emails came to light in which he referred to the shooting deaths of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams earlier this year. In the emails to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot he wrote, “Both the parents failed those kids, which is something you can’t say.”
Toledo was shot by Chicago police while Adams was shot in a McDonald’s drive-through in separate shooting incidents in March and April 2021.
The offending statement was revealed last week after freedom of information act requests from activists, causing widespread condemnation of the McDonald’s CEO.
“Those comments were wrong and I’m sorry,” Kempczinski said in the six-minute video, viewed by Restaurant Business. “I’m sorry I let you down. And I let myself down.”
The emails angered local organization which wrote an open letter to the McDonald’s CEO calling his comments “ignorant, racist and unacceptable coming from anyone, let alone the CEO of McDonald’s, a company that spends big to market to communities of color and purports to stand with Black lives.”
Kempczinski has been at McDonald’s since 2015 moving from Corporate Executive Vice President of Strategy, Business Development and innovation to the CEO role that he has occupied since 2019. Previously he worked for The Kraft Heinz Company and PepsiCo.