When It Comes to Selling Burgers, Carl’s Jr. Is an Equal Opportunity Objectifier

The chain’s latest advertisement features the usual sexy celeb send-up, but this time there’s a twist.
Jun 20, 2014·
Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

Paris Hilton, Kate Upton, Heidi Klum. They’ve all been featured in ad campaigns, but these blondes share one honor in particular: They’ve all lustily devoured sandwiches in television spots for Carl’s Jr.

Now a new sex symbol—a brunette—is joining their ranks. Oh, and the star of the chain’s latest burger advertisement is also a dude.

Professional stuntman Bryan Spangler, clad in a black leather bikini jacket, takes to the hood of a muscle car in the ad, tearing into the chain’s Big Chicken Sandwich with, well, somewhat subdued gusto. If this is Carl’s Jr.’s attempt to say it’s an equal opportunity employer when it comes to sexual objectification, we’ll need to see more writhing and more skin from Spangler.

Then again, with the leather, the black muscle car, and Spangler cracking his neck before taking a bite—“Don’t be a big chicken,” the voice-over says—the ad is just as clichéd a performance of masculine gender norms as Kate Upton’s Southwest Patty Melt striptease is of female sexuality. Together we march ever nearer to equality.