East Hamptonite Steven Spielberg has refused to lend his name to a 230-calorie fast food hamburger, and somehow Carl’s Jr. is surprised.
Perhaps taking a cue from President Trump, the fast food chain and celebrity director are circumventing their lawyers and working out endorsement deals and cease and desist orders via tweet. Carl’s Jr. took to social media on Sunday and began a campaign to rebrand their Charbroiled Sliders as “Spielburgers” in honor of Spielberg’s new film Ready Player One.
Unfortunately for Carl’s Jr., Spielberg isn’t playing along, though he did say the burgers are “pretty good.”
The tone deaf restaurant chain touted their tribute as “big news” in a tweet explaining the name change on Monday. Carl’s Jr. acknowledged that Spielberg hadn’t signed off on the idea, but added, “We’re pretty sure he’ll be down with it.”
BIG NEWS GUYS!! As a tribute to the legendary director of #ReadyPlayerOne, we’re going to change the name of our Charbroiled Sliders to #SpielBurgers. @StevenSpielberg hasn’t signed off yet, but we’re pretty sure he’ll be down with it. pic.twitter.com/botJPM0Hjn
— Carl’s Jr. (@CarlsJr) March 26, 2018
Not so much.
The director responded via his Amblin Entertainment Twitter account with an “official statement’ delivered via a selfie video on Tuesday. Spielberg said the ill-fated Carl’s Jr. plan to rename Charbroiled Sliders “Spielburgers” had recently come to his attention, and his response was quite clear. “They’re pretty good, but I’m passing. Cease and desist,” he said. “Can’t do it. Sorry, guys.”
— Amblin Entertainment (@AmblinEnt) March 27, 2018
Carl’s Jr. also sent a rep, complete with plate of fake, Spielberg film themed burgers to the Ready Player One red carpet event and the Amblin Entertainment offices in Los Angeles. Clearly neither these misguided in-person attempts nor the Twitter efforts succeeded in winning the director over.
While this carries some of the hallmarks of a publicity stunt, most are in agreement that it was not. Who needs lawyers when you have Twitter?
But just in case, we’ll play along: Ready Player One opens in theaters everywhere this Friday, March 30.