Candace Cameron Bure Embroiled in New Controversy

Candace Cameron Bure

Heavy/Getty Former Hallmark star Candace Cameron Bure

One year after leaving Hallmark Channel to help its former CEO, Bill Abbott, launch his new Great American Family network amid a firestorm of controversy, actress Candace Cameron Bure has found herself embroiled in another war of words.

In late 2022, Bure spent weeks defending herself over comments she made in a November Wall Street Journal interview in which she said she expected her new network would “keep traditional marriage at the core” in response to a question about whether storylines with same-sex couples would be included in their programming.

Now, after announcing on social media she hasn’t eaten fast food in two decades, critics have called her out, pointing to a 2012 photo of her picking up Chik-Fil-A in a since-deleted social media post. While some have criticized her for lying — which she has denied — others have angrily pointed out the 2012 photo was posted to support the restaurant chain’s stand against gay marriage at the time. Here’s what you need to know:

Candace Cameron Bure Slammed for Fast Food Comments

All the hubbub started on May 15, 2023, after Bure posted two Instagram Stories declaring that she hasn’t eaten fast food — except for from West Coast chain In-N-Out Burger — in 20 years. Screenshots of the posts were shared by various media outlets, including Us Weekly.

“I haven’t eaten fast food except for In N Out in 20 years,” Bure wrote in white text over a green and blue background.

She continued, “Some days I wonder what a burger and fries is like from McDonald’s or Burger King or Wendy’s or any of those other places I’ve never eaten at. Today is that day. Am I going to find out? No.”

On the next Story, she wrote, “And no, I’ve never had Taco Bell or anything similar. I don’t regret it. You can’t convince me otherwise.”

People were quick to pounce, questioning the validity and purpose of her statement.

“no one should be shamed for eating fast food, AND i am here for the candace cameron bure slander lol,” one person tweeted. 

Another Twitter user posted, “I haven’t watched anything with Candace in 20 years. I win!!!”

Others tweeted a now-deleted August 2012 Instagram photo, which she had also posted on Twitter in 2012, of her picking up items from the fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A with one of her sons. She captioned the photo, “we love chikin!” Attempting to prove her wrong, one reader responded to the Us Weekly article by tweeting the old photo and writing, “@candacecbure, this you?”

With the resurfaced photo, the internet had a field day calling out the actress for “lying” about her fast food consumption. But on May 19, a representative for the actress issued a statement to Insider via email. The representative wrote, “Candace told me that she drove her son to get food at Chick-fil-A and she only ordered an iced tea for herself. Candace is only holding a cup.”

The source also called stories claiming Bure had lied about not eating fast food in 20 years were “untrue” and “ridiculous.”

Critics Angrily Recall Purpose of Candace Cameron Bure’s 2012 Trip to Chick-fil-A

Candace Cameron Bure

GettyCandace Cameron Bure attends Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards.

Whether the resurfaced photo proves Bure was lying or not, it has reminded people of the photo’s original purpose — to show support for Chick-fil-A and its CEO in 2012 amid nationwide protests over the owner’s opposition to gay marriage rights, according to Politico.

Started in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A has been a family-run business infused with traditional, Christian values — based on “Biblical principles,” according to its website — including being closed on Sundays.

According to the New York Times, an investigative organization devoted to LGBTQ+ rights called Equality Matters obtained tax records in 2011 showing that the Cathy family, its foundation, and the restaurant chain’s operators had donated millions of dollars to groups working to defeat same-sex marriage initiatives and provide conversation therapy, once intended to change people’s sexual orientation. In response to the findings, the founder’s son, CEO Dan T. Cathy, told a Christian news organization in 2012 that Chick-fil-A supported “the biblical definition of the family unit,” the Times reported.

Cathy then explained his stance in a radio interview, according to USA Today, by stating, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

A hot-button topic at the time, given that gay marriage was not legalized in the U.S. until June 2015, protests were held at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country. But those in favor of the company’s stance, led by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, declared August 1, 2012, to be “Chick fil-A Appreciation Day,” and urged people to post photos of themselves at the restaurant — as Bure and her son did — to show their support.

Bure’s resurfaced Chick-fil-A photo and the purpose behind it have reinvigorated critics online, who see a correlation between her actions in 2012 and her statement about focusing on “traditional marriage” in her new network’s programming.

Hallmark began including same-sex couples in various movies with November 2020’s “The Christmas House,” per the Los Angeles Times, which debuted 10 months after former CEO Abbott left the network following a very public dustup with LGBTQ+ advocates and angry advertisers. When an organization started a petition in December 2019 to try to sway Hallmark to stop airing commercials for a wedding planning site that included two brides kissing — and also to “not add L.G.B.T. movies to the Hallmark Channel” — the network acquiesced and pulled the ads, according to the New York Times.

But under pressure from gay rights advocates and advertisers to reverse course, its parent company issued an apology, returned the ads to the airwaves, and Abbott abruptly left the network in January 2020, the New York Times reported. Abbott launched Great American Family in the fall of 2021, according to Us Weekly, and Bure joined the following April as its Creative Creative Officer with plans to star in, produce, and direct original movies for the channel.

In the comment section of a BuzzFeed story about Bure abstaining from eating fast food, one person wrote, “This is just screaming ‘please go through my previous posts and not only catch me in this lie, but also find other things to remind people what a sh** bag I am.'”

Another wrote, “That pic she posted was when there was that national support chic-fila day because they were being boycotted for donating to anti-gay causes. The restaurants were packed with right wingers and fundamentalists and a few of the far right celebs posted pics of themselves with chic fila to support it. I still remembered her posting that pic because it solidified how much i dislike her.”

On Twitter, someone weighed in by writing, “Perhaps Candace Cameron Bure shouldn’t say that she hasn’t eaten fast food in 20 years because that’s a blatant lie. She bought Chick Fil A in 2012 to own the libs. Bigot.”

But not all posts about Bure’s comments have been negative. For instance, one person tweeted, “If the worst thing that Buzzfeed can dig up about you is that you eat a Chick-fil-A, then it seems that you are living a pretty good life. Candace Cameron Bure seems like a genuinely nice person.”