Culture

Why Are Whataburger’s Hardcore Fans So Angry About The Recent Sale Of The Chain To A Chicago Investment Firm

Just days ago, iconic Texas burger chain Whataburger announced that Chicago-based firm, BDT Capital Partners, LLC, will acquire a majority share in the previously family-owned company. Founder Harmon Dobson started Whataburger nearly 70 years ago and left the company to his son, Tom Dobson, who will step down as CEO.

In a statement, Dobson maintains that BDT will preserve the culture and family history of Whataburger, but Texas is in an uproar. From a Texan taquería’s marquee sign that reads, “Dear Chicago, if you hurt her I’ll kill you,” to fans swearing the state of Texas will march to Chicago and “burn the whole city to the ground,” one thing’s for sure, they are pissed.

Don’t mess with Texas.

@Whataburger / Twitter

If you don’t know what Whataburger means to Texas, just know that the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has even tweeted out a call to ‘save’ Whataburger. The chain restaurant is only available in southern states and is known for offering made-to-order burgers 24/7.

Many fans are upset on principle of giving up majority say to non-Texans.

@Whataburger / Twitter

Whataburger’s social media team is clearly working tirelessly to try to respond to as many comments as possible. Currently, there are over 6k comments of outcry in two posts alone.

Though one fan has pinpointed the root cause of concern: The Burger.

@say_duh_nelle / Twitter

A Texan family may have created Whataburger in 1950, but there are currently 824 franchises across the Southeastern and Southwestern United States. Non-Texans can replicate the signature burger. A venture capital firm can make decisions that threaten the quality of those burgers across all states.

The majority of fans are prepared to go to great lengths to preserve quality for as long as possible.

@mcz__101 / Twitter

Some fans are planning to stockpile Whataburger’s signature spicy ketchup, for fear the firm will start cutting costs and ruining recipes. Twitter user @AMERICAustin puts it simply, “Y’all can expand across some states but the second the food starts tasting different, you’re unfriended.”

Whataburger replied to him saying, “We love you and want you to know we’re committed to serving the same delicious Whataburger you know and love.” His response? “I’m changing our Facebook relationship status to “It’s complicated.”

Whataburger’s fan base is muy saucy.

@Whataburger / Twitter

It’s obvious they’re having a hard time keeping up with the deep shade fans are throwing their way. Paige Martinez commented, “I’m going to keep a screenshot of this just in case.”

Texans are holding Whataburger to its word.

Houston Texans football star J.J. Watt wants Texans to crowdsource and buy Whataburger back.

@JJWatt / Twitter

Some folks even think Watt doesn’t qualify to be an owning member. One Twitter user even said only fourth-generation Texans get to be majority stakeholders. ????

Whataburger is really trying to roll with it.

@Whataburger / Twitter

They replied to J.J. Watts suggesting he “consider a role in [their] product development team.” If J.J. Watts buys Whataburger with his $100 million a year salary, you bet there will be a JJ Wattaburger on the menu.

The company is trying to ease Texans’ anxiety with messages like this.

@Whataburger / Twitter

The fact of the matter is that the new President and CEO, Preston Atkinson, has already committed to expanding the franchise nationwide. In a statement, Atkinson explicitly said, “In order to keep satisfying our customers, we’ve been exploring different options to expand the brand and introduce it to new audiences.

So far, the PR strategy is making zero headway with loyal fans.

@coreylee73 / Twitter

For some, the principle is the only thing that matters. For others, it’s the burger. It’ll be challenging to see BDT try to maintain its brand loyalty when the brand image itself relies on the product remaining more exclusive and high-quality.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country might just have the last laugh.

@astroraider5 / Twitter

If you’re a non-Texan who hasn’t endured a Texan boasting to you about their Whataburger Pride, then you missed out on a nationwide-joke that would have given you the last laugh. Looks like Whataburger belongs to all of America now, and, no matter what Whataburger claims, that changes things.

READ: Bob’s Burgers: Reimagined As Roberto’s Mariscos

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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