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Over the weekend, news that Olive Garden was supporting Trump’s reelection campaign spread like wildfire across Twitter. #BoycottOliveGarden trended for hours.
There’s just one problem: It isn’t true. The Daily Dot could find no record of Olive Garden or its owner, Darden Restaurants, donating to Donald Trump.
But no matter; the pyre was stacked and Resistance Twitter was ready and willing to roast Olive Garden.
Some took aim at the fare. “No one should ever eat at a chain Italian restaurant, where your money goes to the highly paid execs who can’t even cook. You go where mama, the owner, is in the kitchen, fixin’ your pasta herself. #BoycottOliveGarden,” one wrote.
“Y’all want me to boycott Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, In-N-Out Burger, Pizza Hut, KFC, Waffle House, IHOP, Wendy’s, KFC, AND OLIVE GARDEN?! What’s left I’m sorry, but I’ma still eat their crusty, oversalted breadsticks #BoycottOliveGarden,” another lamented, referencing the numerous politically-motivated restaurant boycotts, such as that of Nestle.
Trump supporters, meanwhile, busily proclaimed their intention to eat copious amounts of unlimited breadsticks and salad in solidarity. “Thanks for letting us know! Not a fan of Olive Garden but will now go to show my support!” said one woman.
When you're here, you're cancelled.#BoycottOliveGarden— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 26, 2019
Thanks for letting us know! Not a fan of Olive Garden but will now go to show my support! 😀😀— TaylorinNY ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇺🇸 (@NYPolJunkie) August 26, 2019
Olive Garden is owned by Darden. Darden also owns:— Eamon Phoenix (@PhoenixEamon) August 25, 2019
🔹Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen
🔹The Capital Grille
🔹Seasons 52 Fresh Grill
🔹Bahama Breeze Island Grille
🔹Eddie V's Prime Seafood
Olive Garden is supporting Trump's bigotry, climate change denial, deregulation, tax cuts for the top 1%.— Joe Negan (@mynameisNegan) August 26, 2019
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 pic.twitter.com/1HNT9tryMd
Seriously? Boycotting everything just cuz of who they support? No wonder why republicans laugh at us liberals. I eat where i want. I care about good ass food. #BoycottOliveGarden 🤦🏽♀️— Bry-Bry💕💕💜♒️ (@CurlyNerdyBry94) August 26, 2019
The rumor appears to have originated in a single tweet.
The Daily Dot contacted the account via tweet and at an email address that appeared to belong to the account holder. As of press time, @LilleyDennese had not responded. The tweet has been deleted.
According to OpenSecrets.org, Darden Restaurants has not donated to Trump or any other presidential candidate. Which Olive Garden itself has continuously insisted since the rumor took hold, tweeting over and over and over again, “We don’t know where this information came from, but it is incorrect. Our company does not donate to presidential candidates.”
As news slowly circulated that Olive Garden and Darden Restaurants do not in fact donate to Trump, some took to blaming Twitter for allowing the rumor to take root in the first place.
So, now that @olivegarden has essentially come out and said this is patently false, are @TwitterSupport or @TwitterSafety planning on just letting this stay up or can liberal activists just talk whatever crap they want to on this platform with zero consequences?— Charles Bellows (@charles_bellows) August 26, 2019
Perhaps next time people will do their own research before they boycott a company based on a tweet.
- This parody of an Olive Garden commercial is hilarious
- The elderly Olive Garden reviewer who went viral remembers how Anthony Bourdain championed her
- This grandiose Olive Garden review is inspiring absurdist fan fiction
- Man tweets entire date with former manager of Times Square Olive Garden—and it’s priceless
Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.