Paul McCartney calls for McDonald’s boycott for displaying his photo

Longtime vegetarian Sir Paul McCartney is urging a boycott of the behemoth fast food chain McDonalds after a branch in Liverpool, England displayed a photo of him with his former Beatle bandmates. The Beatles hail from Liverpool, where all the original bandmates first met in the late 1950s. Instead of being flattered that he was being honored, or quietly asking the chain to remove the photo, McCartney’s rep has called for fans to boycott McDonald’s.

The singer, who has been a vocal advocate of vegetarianism for 30 years was said to be furious after discovering pictures of the Beatles had been placed prominently in a restaurant in his home town.

His image appeared alongside former band mates John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

Geoff Baker, a spokesman for Sir Paul said: “What sort of morons do McDonald’s think Beatles’ fans are.

“It’s ridiculous and insulting to use images to peddle hamburgers. Fans should boycott Mcdonald’s, and not just in Liverpool.”

Sir Paul is a staunch supporter of animal rights, president of the Vegetarian Society of Great Britain and an ambassador for People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA). His late wife Linda had her own range of vegetarian foods.

A PETA spokeswoman said: “He became a vegetarian after watching lambs play in a field outside his home and surely would not want anyone to use his likeness to help promote meat.

“We hope anyone who sees his picture on the wall will be reminded that he’s a vegetarian and skip the Big Mac for a veggie burger.”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said the pictures were to “acknowledge the outstanding contribution the Beatles made to both local and global culture.”

[From via ONTD]

I get the McDonald’s hatred – they get a lot of well deserved flack for many reasons. (I was kind of floored by Fast Food Nation, and here are reminders of the legitimate concerns people have about McDonalds. I still eat there occasionally though.) There are surely plenty of Beatles photos hanging in other restaurants that serve meat, though, particularly those brick a brack-decorated establishments like TGI Fridays and Applebees. Why focus on just McDonalds? It’s also kind of strange that he would be so offended by a McDonalds in his hometown displaying his image in homage to the birthplace of the Beatles. It wasn’t meant as an endorsement or anything, just an acknowledgment of the town’s place in music history.

Paul McCartney is shown at Paris Fashion Week on 10/2/08. Credit: WENN

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40 Responses to “Paul McCartney calls for McDonald’s boycott for displaying his photo”

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  1. maxpurr9 says:

    well if you think about it in the context of corporation vs corporation (apple corp vs mcdonalds) and in this case mcdonalds using the beatles to promote its store, i can see the aggravation in that not being properly worked out. then add on to that, paul’s disgust at mcdonalds–well there you have it and yes, it’s probably blown out of proportion. But screw mcdonalds, they’re pushing an inferior product which is not good for people or the planet, all the while making a bazillion dollars. At least the beatles brought some beauty to the world and have continued to try and make the world a better place. Least we not forget, they’re a corporation too, which almost diminishes the actual humans (john, paul, george, ringo) themselves. But what the hey…?

  2. maxpurr9 says:

    also, did anyone else notice paul’s reflection in the car (wow that’s shiny!)? he almost looks better, in that he kinda looks younger??!?
    there’s some dorian gray stuff going on there….trippy.

  3. Baholicious says:

    Great. Is he going to supplement the incomes of the employees who get laid off due to a drop in business?

    Did the hypocrite speak out against Kosher slaughter while in Israel?

    PETA, which many people don’t know, fronts and supports terrorism. You can check out Penn & Teller’s “Bullshit” episode online for the Coles/Cliff’s notes version of that appalling organization. Where their money goes, what they really do with strays and how they blithely traipse along pulling the wool over the eyes of essentially well meaning people.

    As they say, “Ho, sit down.”

  4. Mr. T says:

    I’m lovin’ it. I am the walrus. Feed me a cheeseburger. I buried Paul.

  5. geronimo says:

    Wha?! As if a pic of him is going to encourage meat-eating?! Aside from the fact that practically every pub/restaurant/club/gallery etc etc is Liverpool is stuffed to the gills with Beatles memorabilia. Major hissy fit, he needs to get over himself big time.

  6. Kaiser says:

    Man, some chicken McNuggets would be great right now. I think I just figured out my lunch plans.

    Oh, this wasn’t an advertisement for McDonalds? Bad move, Macca.

  7. Baholicious says:

    @maxpurr9: “they’re pushing an inferior product which is not good for people or the planet, all the while making a bazillion dollars”. The same could be said for Wal-Mart. Ah, yes but they sell Beatle records in Wal-Mart don’t they?

    “Yes, Virginia”, they most certainly do and here’s the fly in that ointment:

    An awful lot of Wal-Marts have a McDonald’s in them.

    I need a gas mask against the stink of hypocrisy.

  8. cara says:

    You guys are great….certainly not buying into the shit he or anyone else are selling.

    I can’t stand him.

  9. Jen (the other one) says:

    STFU, Paul. Ugh, what a turd. I mean, really, what’s the big deal? That’s not actual meat they’re using at McDonald’s…but it is delicious. Sorta.

  10. vdantev says:

    I haven’t eaten Mickey’s food in over 5 years now for healthy reasons, like their food in greasy sugar-saturated bottom-feeding sludge.

  11. takeiteasy says:

    Ok pretend you’re Paul, vegetarian, Beatle, hater of McDonald’s. You drive by one and it has a goddamn pic of you up in the window! You think to yourself, “People are going to think I support this shithole of an establishment.” So you call for a boycott. Why not? It can’t hurt.

  12. Baholicious says:

    @takeiteasy: Because a “McJob” is better than no job and boycotts do hurt. They drive down business (or shut it down entirely) and people end up out of work. Then we end up supporting them with our taxes whether through Employment Insurance, welfare or community programs like foodbanks and shelters.

    A sane, humanitarian-oriented individual, instead of penalizing a minimum wage earner by crowing for a boycott, would request the photo be removed because they do not want to imply their endorsement, simple as that. Unfortunately the ‘movement’ is dependent, and thrives, upon hysterics from their celebrity mouthpieces. Keeps their agenda in the media.

  13. Vern says:

    I have personally been boycotting McDonalds because they are evil. And they lie about their ingredients.
    Maybe Paul’s panties are in a bunch, but you can’t blame him for not wanting to be associated with them.
    As for being a hypocrite, if he didn’t sell records at Walmart people would blame him for being “elitist”, so I guess he’s just picking his battles.

  14. Curly Fry says:

    I’m so sure this boycott is going to leave millions of McD’s workers in the streets, prostituting their bodies outside their cardboard boxes. :roll:

    He’s Paul McCartney, he had accomplished more by the time he was in his mid-twenties than most of us will ever dream of. Yeah, this call for a boycott is kinda silly, but as a cultural icon and musical legend, I think he can be a little silly from time to time. He’s just gone a little too far to prove a point and stand behind a cause he (and Linda) believed in passionately.

  15. pissoff says:

    “I’m not going to your restaurants anymore McDonalds! You hurt Paul McCartney’s feelings!”

    Seriously – is the guy so full of himself that he thinks anyone will listen to him?

  16. Syko says:

    McDonald’s also has salads.

  17. jennifurrr says:

    @ Baholicious – do you have a link to that penn & teller clip about peta?

  18. Baholicious says:

    I boycott the Beatles for promoting pot and LSD use, how about that? I’m totally not serious, but Wal-Mart obviously hasn’t thought about that fact. As far as ‘elitism’, are HMV or Sam Goody’s (is that right US folks?)considered highbrow?

    Just curious.

  19. JaundiceMachine says:

    Whether you love him or hate him, Paul is an iconic figure – and he doesn’t want his image to be directly associated with a business he doesn’t agree with. Why shouldn’t he speak up?

    Syko – Their salads are deplorable. Frozen, wilted lettuce and covered in slimy ham slabs . . . yucky! (Though, to be fair, they’re on par with every other fast-food salad out there. )

  20. Mairead says:

    *looks at my pear and parmasean snack and contemplates going for some McDonalds fries – just to p*ss off Paul McCartney that little bit more*

    (the man has managed to just plain annoy me for the past 10 years or so) I know that in many branches in Britain you can get things like Quorn burgers (yum) – but alas I have to deal with the impoverished Irish ones where you can’t even get a veggie burger in most.

    Baholicious, as terrorism is a very serious charge to make against anyone or any organisation because of the connotation with armed action, could suggest that you to qualify which groups you mean. People who may not get the chance to research the programmes and links you provide, might get the impression that they’re flinging cash at the Basque Separatists ETA, FARC, the PLO or any random nutjobs who claim association with Al Quaeida.

    Not that I’m for a second trying to downplay the nastiness of some of these “animal liberation” f**kwits but both mean nor the devastation their campaigns of fear and arson wreak.

  21. Vern says:

    Actually Baholicious,
    I don’t think Sam Goody’s or Virgin records exist anymore. (not sure what HMV is.) My point was that somebody will always find something to piss about no matter what side you take. I can’t imagine anyone really boycotting Mc D’s just because Paul says to, at least not in the US. We proudly have the highest obesity rate in the world!

  22. vdantev says:

    McDonald’s also has salads.

    Which allegedly have sugar dusted on them to improve the taste of the ingredients.

  23. takeiteasy says:

    @ Baholicious: Take it easy. McCartney is not going to put people out of work. He released a statement in retribution, that’s all. Some people do think for themselves you know… although, said people already don’t eat that crap/support that crap… so you could be right.

  24. lanette says:

    funny how PETA gives Sarah Palin a passsss

  25. what says:

    what do mccdonald’s workers earn these days, anyway? minimum wage?
    if this really does get any of them laid off, then it can’t be too hard to find another minimum wage job. they can go next door to burger king.

  26. spooge says:

    Yeah, being a vegetarian is real healthy… um, didn’t Linda die at a young age from cancer?

    I think I’ll stick to eating normal food thanks.

  27. Baholicious says:

    @Mairead: by terrorist organization I mean the ALF – the Animal Liberation front.

  28. jennifurrr says:

    @ Baholicious: THANKS!!!!

  29. Dan says:


    You can go to any restaurant, any pub, and book store or any other public place of business and/or learning and not be surprised to see a picture of one or all of the FAB4. It is like that anywhere in the world, why doesn’t he find those other places and make a big deal about them as well? Immature attention getting behavior is all it is and not becoming of someone that should be “SIR”

  30. Mairead says:

    Hey Baholicious, thanks for the clarification. :D

    I assumed you meant them or the Earth Liberation Front – but I did have to do a bit of digging to figure it out from sources other than random blogs. And sure we all know that I’m a pernickity article who will look for that sort of stuff, I think that it’s a good idea to clarify it for those who don’t have the time nor inclination to do so.

    My old Irish teacher always used to drum into me the importance of avoiding sweeping statements – I still hear his “whooshing” sound whenever I realise I’ve done it :lol: Sorry if it seemed like I was having a go at you, I’m honestly just trying to help.

  31. doodahs says:

    Macca, over react much?
    Settle down Nancy…

    In these choice of photos, he looks like a tyrannical sort of ex (geddit?) After seeing the fairly evil expression on his face in picture two, I almost felt a sliver of compassion for Mucca… *shudder*.. must be all the Mickey D’s I’ve been eating… it’s affected my brain…

  32. CAA says:

    Why would McD’s wanna ruin my appetite?
    And what makes the old coot think he can speak for the other three?
    It’s a stinkin’ PHOTO…….GET OVER IT…….and eat a double quarter pounder w/cheese…… :-)

  33. JaundiceMachine says:

    Spooge – Harsh.

    I have to admit, I get a little upset when I read generalized, sweeping statements about Vegetarians. I don’t try to enforce my lifestyle on anyone – what you put in your body is your own damn business, and I fully respect that. But I am hurt when that same “live and let live” attitude is not applied.

    So what if Paul is pissed off? He has every right to be! A multi-national cooperation is aggrandizing on his image without his permission. That’s a law suit, right there. – Not only that, but it is a cooperation whose business practices (especially the “meat farming” aspect) he is vehemently opposes. Perhaps it is a bit silly (and egotistical) to call for a global-boycott, but McCartney is within every legal right to hold McDonalds’ nads to the fire.

  34. aleach says:

    i DOUBT anyone will seriously boycott mcdonalds just because paul says so…DUH! ya, what about EVERY single other eatery that has beatles paraphenalia up? is he going to boycott every place that serves meat with his picture on the wall? that is so ridiculous! i mean, pick your battles, paul.
    and p.s. i LOVE me some mcdonalds! :lol:

  35. judy says:

    I guess that if he were making a profit off his photo being there, he wouldn’t be calling for a boycott. I’m not a fan of his and I sure as hell am not taking his direction in anything!!

  36. Emily says:

    This is the way things should be, get off what we are on now

  37. nita smith says:

    you don’t get it do you? Some people need educating on the kind of shit that goes into MacDonald’s foods. No-one had serious health or overweigh issues until MacDonalds came on the scene. Paul has been a staunch vegetarian for over 30 years. What he would have been most upset about is that he was shown in a fast food restaurant where the animals came from factory farms of the worst kind. He feels passionate about his beliefs so he’s going to be upset about this, in his hometown. Maybe people wont think he’s endorsed it, but some will undoubtedly say “Oh wat a hypocrite, he’s supposed to be veggie.” But then people are saying he’s a hypocrite anyway so he can’t win. How can “proper food” be proper when it causes so much suffering to innocent animals who don’t have a voice. It is eating the flesh of another being. People who eat any flesh are murderers or as good as and they are walking graveyards. I support Paul all the way. Close down these places, I’m sure workers can rise above the vocation of being a MacDonald’s lacky.

  38. nita smith says:

    I read the sweeping statement by Baholicious and the page that she was on about couldn’t be found. So I sent a personal email to PETA, which I recommend anyone to do if they have doubts about what they do. They sent me an interesting link about the person trying to discredit them, which I am passing on to anyone who is interested. It is http// As a supporter of many animal welfare charities, it is well known that anyone who is frightened of their successes will try any mean tactics to discredit them and all I am saying is give them a chance.

  39. Dave says:


    What are the best alternatives to Mcdonald’s? Can we BUYcott them? For example, Subway is healthier and it offers many varieties of fresh vegetables and two vegetarian sandwiches.

    For an article on the boycott/BUYcott, google “Reward and Consent” or see my blog post: