KFC names David Alan Grier first black Colonel Sanders
Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new Colonel Sanders is black.
David Alan Grier announced on Twitter that he has been cast as the iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken colonel: “Breaking news: David Alan Grier has been cast as the first African American Colonel Sanders in the new KFC ad campaign.”
Breaking News: David Alan Grier has been cast as the first African American Colonel Sanders in the new KFC ad campaign. #KFC
— David Alan Grier (@davidalangrier) March 3, 2016
KFC responded via Twitter to the news, supporting Grier as their new frontman.
.@davidalangrier I saw your tweet. I've always been a huge fan of yours, but I never knew you were such a fan of mine! Excited! DM me!
— KFC (@kfc) March 3, 2016
The role is a controversial one, as racist Alabama Gov. George Wallace is rumored to have once considered Sanders as a running mate for a segregationist third-party presidential bid in 1968. In more recent news, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy has also drawn attention to the lack of diversity in casting roles, and putting a black man as the face of KFC seems to fly in the face of the all-white showing at the recent awards ceremony.
Whether or not Grier’s casting as Colonel Sanders is part of a larger trend toward more diversity remains to be seen.
Take a look what folks are saying on Twitter about Grier as the new Colonel Sanders.
— Daniel Offner (@DanielOffner) March 3, 2016
— Aaron Blazevic (@ItsBlaz) March 3, 2016
— Keith Arsenault (@KeithArsenault) March 3, 2016
Making David Alan Grier – Col. Sanders is not going to make us forget Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone #NinaSimone
— Black Women Speak (@BlackWomen_) March 3, 2016
UPDATE: In a statement provided to The Huffington Post, Kevin Hochman, KFC’s chief media officer, said that comedian David Alan Grier’s tweet on Thursday that he had been cast as Colonel Sanders was a joke.
“There is no new Colonel Sanders,” Hochman said. “We are very excited to learn that Mr. Grier is such a big fan of KFC and The Colonel. We’re a big fan of him as well. We hope to continue the conversation with him over a $5 Fill Up.”