‘Pizza Hut has gone full woke, now we must make them full broke’: Restaurant chain sparks outrage and national boycott after its children’s’ book club features a story about a young boy in DRAG
- Pizza Hut has since 1984 promoted books to young readers, rewarding them with a free pizza if they read the books and cash in their school-issue certificates
- Dozens of books are added to the scheme each year, and the latest – to celebrate Pride Month – is a book about a boy dressing up, and a magical wig
- The publishers say the book ‘celebrates the universal childhood experience of dressing up and the confidence that comes with putting on a costume’
- Yet some on social media were aghast at the selection, accusing Pizza Hut of indoctrinating their children
Pizza Hut is facing calls for a boycott after it promoted a children’s book that featured a little boy who dressed in drag.
The pizza chain has since 1984 promoted a scheme called Book It, where children are encouraged to read books and issued a certificate from their school on completing the challenges, which can be cashed in for a free pizza.
Dozens of books are added to the list on a regular basis, but one recent addition has caused particular anger.
Big Wig, by Jonathan Hillman, tells the story of a little boy who likes to dress up, and whose wig gives magical powers to those who wear it.
The publishers, Simon and Schuster, said the book, published in February, ‘celebrates the universal childhood experience of dressing up and the confidence that comes with putting on a costume.’
They added: ‘And it goes further than that, acknowledging that sometimes dressing differently from what might be expected is how we become our truest and best selves.’
Big Wig, published in February, tells the story of a boy who dresses in drag, and his magical wig
The book tells the story of a purple wig, which gives the wearer huge confidence
The wig floats off its wearer’s head and zooms away to other people
Hillman on Friday was overjoyed by the selection of his book for Pizza Hut’s challenge.
‘Hooray! Thank you @pizzahut for featuring BIG WIG (and for the MANY pizzas over the years),’ he tweeted.
‘I grew up doing Book It!, so this is really special. #Pride’
Yet the backlash was immediate.
‘Pizza Hut has gone full woke, now we must make them full broke,’ tweeted Brigitte Gabriel, activist and conservative commentator.
Jack Posobiec added: ‘I warned you about what Pizza Hut had become but you weren’t ready to hear it.’
Radio host Todd Starnes said: ‘Over the past few years #pizzahut has had to close hundreds of restaurants.
‘Maybe they should spend more time perfecting their pizza instead of grooming preschoolers to be drag queens?’
The popular account Libs of TikTok tweeted: ‘@PizzaHut sponsors a program which incentivizes kids in PreK-6th grade to read books. This week, one of their suggested books is “Big Wig.” A book about a child who becomes a drag performer.’
Another said Pizza Hut and the organizers of the reading lists ‘want your kids to be drag queens.’
One man lamented: ‘Can’t we just go back to books like The Magic School Bus? Ms. Frizzle would never take the kids to a drag show. I miss wholesome things..’
Another said: ‘It’s just sad. Kids aren’t allowed to be kids these days.’
Yet others found the furore ridiculous.
‘”Big Wig, which is a book about a child who dresses in drag to compete in a costume contest.” the horror, its the collapse of society and the end of general humanity. I just cant even handle it, what to do??’ joked one.
Another said: ‘These books celebrate acceptance, inclusivity & self-confidence.’
One shared a photo of George Washington, noting: ‘You know who else wore big wigs and makeup? The Founding Father’s. Stop worrying about what books kids might read, and do something about gun control instead.’
And the author seemed to find the drama amusing.
‘Wait until they find out I made fake Book It! certificates to get free personal pans when I was seven,’ he said.