Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) may sue a fried chicken restaurant in Thailand called “Hitler” for using a similar logo featuring an image of Adolf Hitler in place of the iconic Colonel Sanders.
"We find it extremely distasteful and are considering legal action since it is an infringement of our brand trademark and has nothing to do with us," a spokesperson for Yum!, KFC’s parent company, told the Huffington Post. The “Hitler” restaurant, which opened in Bangkok last month, has a storefront logo very similar to KFC's but with an image of the anti-Semitic dictator responsible for the mass murder of 6 million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust during World War II.
The fried chicken restaurant was originally publicized in May when British author Andrew Spooner tweeted a photo of its façade. “Very bizarre Hitler Fried Chicken shop in Thailand. I kid you not. Complete with pic of Hitler in bow tie,” he wrote on Twitter.
The restaurant sells fried chicken as well as chips, burgers and kebabs, according to the UK's Daily Mail. Bangkok resident Alan Robertson told the Mail: “The place opened last month and nobody quite knows what to make of it. I went in for a bite last week and got some fried chicken, which was pretty good, and asked the guy behind the counter why it was called Hitler. He just shrugged his shoulders and said the owners thought it was a good image.”
The Daily Mail even went so far as to say Thailand has an obsession with Hitler, calling the phenomenon “Nazi-chic.” The newspaper said schoolchildren as well as teens and adults frequently dress up as Nazis or pose with Hitler-influenced items making the Nazi sign. Many T-shirt designs there feature Hitler transformed into cartoonish images resembling Ronald McDonald and cute animals.
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But the trend extends far beyond Thailand. Similarly, an Indian store owner, Rajesh Shah of Vastrapur, Gujarat, named his clothing store “Hitler” and adorned it with swastikas, angering Indian Jews last August. In Italy, wine bottles featuring an image of Adolf Hitler giving a Nazi salute angered Jewish-American tourists. In Turkey, Hitler was used as a spokesperson for Biomen Men's Shampoo in a commercial that “repulsed” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Arguably worst of all, a January 2012 report from Poland stated that officials in the country were looking to create a tourist attraction out of Hitler’s Lair. Also called The Wolf’s Lair after Hitler’s nickname, the site in the middle of a forest in northeastern Poland was used as one of Hitler’s key headquarters during World War II with 80 buildings that housed more than 2,000 Nazi security personnel.
Most recently in June, a report leaked that Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of North Korea, gave his senior officials copies of “Mein Kampf,” Adolf Hitler’s prison manifesto, as gifts.
In the United States, JCPenney came under fire in May for a billboard advertisement that showed a teapot with a blatant resemblance to Hitler. The Texas-based company eventually pulled the ad after the backlash. In June last year, a New Jersey couple lost custody of their children, one of which was named after Adolf Hitler, in a custody battle that made international headlines.