Pizza Hut is facing consumer boycotts after the chain reportedly provided free meals to soldiers on Israeli military bases.
On Jan. 19, Pizza Hut Israel reposted an Instagram story from user @alex_shults that depicted two smiling soldiers holding stacks of Pizza Hut pizza boxes, implying the chain had provided the meals to soldiers. The story expired after 24 hours and can no longer be viewed on Instagram.
Palestinian news agencies including the Quds News Network began resharing screenshots of the posts on Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, leading supporters of Palestinian rights to boycott the chain's products.
In recent months, advocacy groups have also encouraged boycotts against other brands perceived to support Israel, including Starbucks, which saw boycotts and protests from union members after the company sued over social media posts in support of the Palestinian people were posted on a union account.
Pizza Hut has not publicly responded to the boycotts nor verified that the pizzas were provided to soldiers.
Israeli soldiers expressing gratitude to Pizza Hut franchises in Israel for providing free meals to military bases. pic.twitter.com/kTYp1I7hNW
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) January 19, 2024
It isn't the first time Pizza Hut Israel has been boycotted
In May 2017, Pizza Hut came under fire after an advertisement was shared online by the chain's Israeli branch. The ad appeared to mock Palestinian prisoners who were on a hunger strike. The ad used a photoshopped image of a prisoner eating Pizza Hut pizza inside his cell.
Social media users and advocacy groups including the BDS movement, or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, began using the hashtag #boycott_pizzahut in response to the ad.
Pizza Hut later deleted the ad, apologized and fired the PR firm that created the ad, according to news reports.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Who is boycotting Pizza Hut? What to know about the latest protest