Apparently for the first time, KFC has a female Colonel Sanders. The restaurant chain hired TV personality and country singer Reba McEntire to play the iconic fried chicken baron, the AP reports.
“A rotating cast of famous names have portrayed the Colonel since 2015, but McEntire is the first famous female to do it, and the first musician,” the AP reports. “She may also be the first woman in KFC’s nearly 90-year-history to depict the Colonel. The company said the ‘best historical minds at KFC’ could not remember a woman having stepped into the role.”
McEntire will appear in ads starting next week and running through the end of April. She told the AP her Colonel outfit, which includes fringe and a glittery shine, brings “a little bit of the country music flair” to the character.
KFC posted the first ad Thursday, and it’s already generating a little controversy, with one YouTube user commenting: “When feminism goes too far…”
But McEntire is an especially beloved celebrity, both in the country music realm and through her TV role on her long-running comedy series “Reba.” She has been a perennial at the music awards shows, winning 16 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 American Music Awards, eight Country Music Awards and two Grammys, among many others. She’s also the recipient of nine People’s Choice Awards.
“KFC said it picked McEntire because of her Southern roots, and to help promote its new Smoky Mountain BBQ, which combines fried chicken with a taste of barbeque,” the AP notes. “McEntire said she’s eaten at KFC all her life, since her days growing up in Oklahoma.”
Here’s the new ad …