Black Twitter criticized KFC Canada’s new “finger lickin’ good” campaign ad featuring an all-Black cast and deemed it racially insensitive.

On Thursday, Azim Akhtar, KFC Canada’s marketing director, released the billboard photos of the new ad to his X account, formerly Twitter. Vibe reported that the fast food chain used multiple snapshots of Black people on utensils licking their fingers while eating fried chicken.

“Sorry Utensils, It’s Finger Lickin’ Good. Latest campaign, I couldn’t be more proud!!” Akhtar wrote.

The campaign ad received harsh criticism from Black X users, calling it racist. They also questioned why KFC intentionally used only Black people as the face of its new ad when other races also enjoy fried chicken.

“1. So yt people don’t lick their fingers? 2. We still not eating this (in this country) 3. I just know it’s a Black person on the creative team like “I knew this wasn’t a good idea but they don’t listen to me so I just clock in…do my work…n go home,”” one user wrote.

“The strategy of showcasing consumers enjoying KFC finger licking good chicken in the reflection of utensils is brilliant, ONLY showcasing black consumers licking their fingers eating chicken reinforces a negative stereotype. The tweet replies are somehow more cringe than the ad,” another user said. 

“This is why it’s important for marketers/advertisers to study art history and historic ad campaigns..the print ad vs the video came across as a caricature display of Black people..a picture is worth a thousand words….nahhhh this was a miss #KFC,” a third user wrote.

On Friday, Akhtar responded to the fallout of the campaign and apologized for “not being more thoughtful.”

“My earlier post didn’t capture the full diversity of our latest campaign and I personally apologize for not being more thoughtful in my excitement to share the campaign and only sharing certain photos. Here is the 60-second spot that is more representative of Canada’s diversity and our creative,” he wrote.

Akhtar’s statement was also met with criticism by X users. They said he used the initial campaign for engagement without considering how Black consumers would feel about it.