Olive Garden #Boycotted For ‘Supporting Trump’s Re-Election’; Olive Garden: There’s Just One Problem

Another day, another politically motivated boycott that ends up baseless.

On Sunday #BoycottOliveGarden was trending on Twitter for the popular restaurant chain's supposed support of Donald Trump's re-election campaign. But while Trump critics jumped online to declare the Italian chain forever dead to them, Olive Garden served up an outrage-dampening detail about its parent company.
"Olive Garden is funding Trump's re-election in 2020. It would be terrible if you shared this and Olive Garden lost business," wrote a blue check English professor and self-described "Resistance" member in a post that racked up tens of thousands of retweets Sunday before being deleted.
"Olive Garden is supporting Trump's bigotry, climate change denial, deregulation, tax cuts for the top 1%. It’s okay for rich & corporations to get Gov assistance, meanwhile the average worker never had help from the Gov cuz of this corruption. This must stop. #BoycottOliveGarden," wrote one outraged OG boycotter. "Because @olivegarden is a major contributor to the reelection campaign of aspiring dictator @realDonaldTrump I will no longer be patronizing your restaurants. #BoycottOliveGarden," announced another Trump critic. "Dammit. I love the zuppa toscana and shrimp fritta at @olivegarden. O well. I love democracy more. Goodbye, Olive Garden. #BoycottOliveGarden," said one rather reluctant boycotter. "Everyone is welcome at @olivegarden as long as you’re straight and white. #BoycottOliveGarden," wrote another incensed Trump critic.
The only problem with the boycott, as Olive Garden took a few moments to point out on Sunday, is that it's based on a false accusation. After somebody going by the name of Marty Moose declared, "Never going to Olive Garden again screw you and Trump as well as the whole GOP your all scumbags," OG responded with some unmerited patience and politeness.
"Hi there, we don’t know where this information came from, but it is incorrect. Our company does not donate to presidential candidates," the company wrote.
Never going to Olive Garden again screw you and Trump as well as the whole GOP your all scumbags😣
Hi there, we don’t know where this information came from, but it is incorrect. Our company does not donate to presidential candidates.
45 people are talking about this
When another twitterer tried to bring out some hard "proof" of Olive Garden's supposed Trump donations, the chain replied, "We can assure you that our company does not donate to federal candidates." When another person tried to present some more evidence, OG assured the critic that its parent company, Darden Restaurants, "does not support federal candidates."
A parent company supporting trump and Olive Garden supporting trump are two different things.
Twitchy looked into where the whole thing got started and traced it back to a viral tweet posted by a college student in early August that listed Olive Garden among several other major chains as supposedly "supporting Trump's re-election." That tweet was then promoted online by blue-check People for Bernie and BET, which included the claim in an article.
The original tweet was quickly debunked by The Washington Post's Phillip Bump. An excerpt from his fact-check of the college student's tweet that started it all (formatting adjusted):
The college student is broadly wrong about those companies. Responding to questions, he tweeted a half-dozen links which he said served as sources for his data. Several of those links aren’t articulations of political spending at all; instead, they’re assessments of the politics of the company broadly. That can be misleading. Chick-fil-A, for example, is well-known as a conservative company, closing on Sundays and earning national visibility after its chief executive disparaged same-sex marriage several years ago.
The student offers a summary of spending compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics as evidence for his claim that the company is backing Trump’s reelection. [includes chart] Three things should jump out at you here. First, this is the 2016 cycle — in other words, data from the last presidential election. Second, it’s all federal candidates, not just Trump. Third, notice that the bar is entirely green. That means these are contributions from individuals, from people who likely work for Chick-fil-A and not from the company itself.

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