Like virtually everyone else, Rick & Morty co-creator Justin Roiland is not happy with the outcome of the McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce promotion that was inspired by the Adult Swim show. Following the ill-fated one-day-only promo this past weekend, the voice of both Rick and Morty voiced his disapproval of how things went down.
Rick & Morty recently wrapped its critically acclaimed third season, but the conversation around the show has been dominated by the chaos that was born out of a throwaway joke from the show’s season 3 premiere. Rick’s reference to a long discontinued promotional McDonald’s dipping sauce for the Disney movie Mulan led to a massive campaign for the fast food chain to bring it back into production. Looking for a way to promote their new chicken tenders, McDonald’s announced an extremely limited, one-day return of the sauce for this past Saturday. This resulted in disaster, as stores were in no way prepared for the demand for the Szeuchuan Sauce, resulting in stores running out almost instantly and being met with hordes of angry fans.
Roiland is condemning McDonald’s poorly conceived stunt, tweeting his displeasure with the company’s misfire and urging the show’s notoriously rambunctious fan base to not take out their frustration on McDonald’s employees.
FYI: We had nothing to do with this McDonald's stuff. Not happy w/how this was handled. Please be cool to the employees it's not their fault— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) October 8, 2017
The fiasco was a bad look for all parties. McDonald’s was either incredibly incompetent in not understanding the demand for the sauce, or deeply cynical in that they knew this would more or less be the result and garner them plenty of media attention. Reports of fans harassing completely blameless McDonald’s employees and calling for a nationwide boycott only adds fuel to the fire of the narrative that the show’s fan base is filled with some less than great people, an issue that co-creator Dan Harmon recently had to acknowledge.
It’s hard not to feel a little bad for Roiland, who created the Szechuan Sauce bit out of his personal obsession with the dipping sauce, and who was ecstatic when McDonald’s sent him a jug of the elusive condiment. McDonald’s attempting to exploit his fan base’s more obsessive impulses has to leave a bad taste in his mouth that has nothing to do with the dipping sauce.
For their part, McDonald’s has sort of acknowledged the chaos, promising the sauce will return this winter in a greatly expanded way. Hopefully this time around, the fast food chain will be better prepared for the massive demand, and Rick & Morty’s fans will be able to conduct themselves with a little more grace over a packet of promotional fast food dipping sauce.
Source: Justin Roiland
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