SHINee’s Key Might Be Promoting McDonald’s Again, And Fans Are Not Happy

Currently, McDonald’s is boycotted.

It appears as though SHINee‘s Key and fast food chain McDonald’s might be collaborating again.

SHINee’s Key | McDonald’s Korea

SHINee are the “kings of Halloween” at SM Entertainment‘s annual Halloween party, SMTOWN Wonderland. Yet, one year in particular went down in history as Key and Onew dressed up as the iconic fast-food chain mascots, Ronald McDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken‘s Colonel Sanders, respectively. Many memes were born that night. To this day, these memes circulate not only in the K-Pop community but the entire internet.

After Key went viral for his legendary costume, McDonald’s gave him a gift as he helped spark interest in the fast food chain.

| SM Entertainment & McDoanld’s’ Korea

It went full circle when Key officially advertised for McDonald’s just last year. In January 2023, Key was featured as McDonald’s Korea CF model.

While Key has not advertised for McDonald’s for months, McDonald’s Korea has shared a post that seems to imply they are working together again. It marks a year since he first officially advertised for the company.

McDonald’s Korea updated both Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) with a new photo. Key’s employee headshot from his Good & Great era was featured on a “Welcome to McDonald’s!” sign in a McDonald’s location. It read, “Marketing team new hire: Key/Kim Ki Bum.” The caption said, “First day at work.” 

First day at work

— McDonald’s caption

Marketing Team / New Hire
Key / Kim Ki Bum
‘Hello, I’m Key: The new hire with a 12-year experience stanning the Quarter Pounder with Cheese!’

— McDonald’s sign translation

Last year, fans were excited about Key’s brand deals.


he’s so iconic #key #kimkibum #shinee

♬ เสียงต้นฉบับ – ครูศรีหนุ่ม the comedian c17 – ครูศรีหนุ่ม

Now, many are disappointed that he might have signed yet another deal with McDonald’s. Currently, McDonald’s is part of a boycott list for Palestine.

Since October, the death toll in the Gaza Strip in Palestine has surpassed 25,000 in the ongoing Israel and Palestine crisis, according to the Ministry of Health in the territory. The surviving Palestinians in Gaza continue to struggle to survive as many are injured, starving and have lost homes, family, and friends.

Consequently, any companies that have supported Israel in any way are boycotted in solidarity with Palestine. McDonald’s is one of the main restaurants boycotted since October as McDonald’s Israel provided thousands of free meals to the Israel Defense Forces. Yet, McDonald’s corporate recently claimed it’s “not funding or supporting any governments involved in this conflict.”

Customers have evidence that McDonald’s changed its chicken sandwich wrapper to the Israeli flag colors, blue and white, but some employees and customers claim that this change occurred before October 2023. Nonetheless, McDonald’s Israel has been outspoken in support of the IDF.

McDonald’s has taken a hit worldwide. So, netizens have been on alert as the fast food chain continues to announce collaborations with big names in K-Pop, such as NCT‘s Doyoung and NewJeans. Read more below.

NCT Doyoung’s Recent Endorsement Deal With McDonald’s Sparks Controversy Due To Israel-Palestine Conflict

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