The True Story of Two Ordinary People Who Refused to Say McSorry
The McDonald’s Corporation has made billions of dollars offering fast food that appeals to young kids. It is no secret that the convenience of their locations and the rapid pace of their production has been a lifesaver for many busy mothers who need to feed their hungry family quickly. But as time passes and people become more environmental and health conscious some serious questions have been raised regarding some practices and the content of the meals offered by the popular restaurant.
McDonald’s received a lot of negative press regarding many issues such as the environmental damage, the working conditions of its employees, the way the animals were being reared and slaughtered, the exploitation of children, and the effect that their hamburgers and fries were having on the physical health of those who ate them. The horror stories spread rapidly all over the world and the corporation was understandably outraged. In an attempt to put a stop to the madness, McDonald’s took steps to force an apology out of journalists and activists in the UK. Most of them did, except for two: Helen Steele and Dave Morris.
In the early 80s many activist groups came together to launch a campaign that would inform people about what this multinational corporation was doing. A number of spies started showing up at the group meetings; their assignment was to observe everything that was going on and inform McDonald’s. According to Dave Morris at some activist meetings there were as many spies as campaigners.
In September of 1990, five of the activists were served libel writs in which McDonald’s Corporation was demanding a public apology for publishing and spreading a leaflet called ‘What’s Wrong With McDonald’s’. If they refused to apologize, they would have a court case. Three of the five felt they had no choice and went ahead with the apology. But Helen and Dave didn’t think they had anything to apologize for. And even if they were told that it was impossible for them to stand against the multinational conglomerate, they decided to go ahead with the trial. In the words of Helen Steele, ‘if somebody’s trying to make you do something that you don’t believe in then you have to stand up to them.’
And so two broke activists dragged McDonald’s through the longest trial in English history making it the biggest corporate disaster ever. They were determined to defend their right to censure the company and they wanted to hold McDonald’s accountable. Many people consider them to be modern day heroes. Watch this thought-provoking film now.