K-Fried continues the hilarious and brilliant ad campaign using stand ins for the long deceased Col. Harlan Sanders, this time with a black actor playing the Col..
The #OscarsSoWhite pendulum has swung the other way — now Col. Sanders is black.
“Breaking news: David Alan Grier has been cast as the first African American Colonel Sanders in the new KFC ad campaign,” Grier tweeted Thursday morning, revealing that he had been cast to portray the iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken pitchman in the white suit and string tie.
No other details were provided.
Grier is the latest — and, by far, the most eye-catching — actor to play Col. Harland Sanders in KFC’s ongoing effort to rebrand itself.
In May, the company launched an ad campaign that revived the late Sanders in the form of “Saturday Night Live” comic Darrell Hammond.
Hammond’s gig was short lived, and he was replaced by fellow “SNL” alum Norm MacDonald, who also ended up being replaced when comic Jim Gaffigan took over.
But Grier, 60, is the first to cross what might be the ultimate racial divide — and fans were instantly offering suggestions.
“Please do the KFC commercial dressed as Col Sanders but with Maya Angelou voice?” tweeted Keith Arsenault.
Another KFC fan reminded Grier that he was stepping into a controversial role, especially given that racist Alabama Gov. George Wallace reportedly once considered Sanders to be his running mate on a segregationist third-party presidential bid in 1968.
“Damn David,” tweeted J. Cobb, “you’re gonna break Mr. George Wallace’s heart.”
Making matters worse for Grier is the legacy of Sanders himself. The original pitchman for the “finger-lickin’-good” chicken led a storied life, enlisting in the Army at 16, and being home just three months because he was too young to serve.
Sanders’ pal, former Kentucky Gov. Lawrence Wetherby, later gave him the honorary rank of colonel — and the title stuck. Sanders was a constant TV presence — and remained so even after he sold his company in 1964. He died in 1980 at 90.