James Franco is sticking up for McDonald’s, because the fast food company was there for him “when no one else was.”
The actor, filmmaker, author, artist and college professor wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post to wish the corporation well in wake of slumped sales and a recommitment to “hot, fresh food,” as well as a decision to sell off certain outlets to independent owners.
“I want the strategy to work. All I know is that when I needed McDonald’s, McDonald’s was there for me. When no one else was,” Franco wrote before detailing his experience working at a Los Angeles location at the age of 18 while attending UCLA.
“Someone asked me if I was too good to work at McDonald’s. Because I was following my acting dream despite all the pressure not to, I was definitely not too good to work at McDonald’s,” Franco wrote. “I went to the nearest Mickey D’s and was hired the same day.”
Franco shares some amusing stories about practicing his foreign accents while working the late shift drive-thru position, as well as observations about the type of people who frequented the establishment during his time at the front counter.
“Parents ordering for their children are the worst, and parents ordering for a group of children, like a sports team, are the devil incarnate,” Franco shared. “Some customers seem to think that paying for food entitles them to boss the service workers around, but if you’re buying fast food, how much entitlement does that buy you?”
Ultimately, a gig acting in a Pizza Hut commercial rescued him from the low-paying job, but he doesn’t regret it or have any unkind words for McDonald’s.
“I was treated fairly well at McDonald’s. If anything, they cut me slack. And, just like their food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need,” Franco concluded. “I still love the simplicity of the McDonald’s hamburger and its salty fries. After reading ‘Fast Food Nation,’ it’s hard for me to trust the grade of the meat. But maybe once a year, while on a road trip or out in the middle of nowhere for a movie, I’ll stop by a McDonald’s and get a simple cheeseburger: light, and airy, and satisfying.”
Franco’s reflection on his employment history comes the same week McDonald’s unveiled a new marketing campaign featuring an updated version of the Hamburglar — now a suburban dad whose model looks have either been admired or mocked on Twitter.
Why pay workers more when Mcdonalds can instead save their business with a creepy new Hamburglar. — Jamie Kilstein (@jamiekilstein) May 6, 2015
Christian Grey as The Hamburglar pic.twitter.com/GW4btJtQGM
– Maggie Serota (@maggieserota) May 6, 2015