Black History Month just got extended, thanks to a milestone in fast food history.
Actor David Alan Grier has been cast as the first black “Colonel Sanders” character for chicken chain Kentucky Fried Chicken. The actor took to Twitter on Thursday (Mar. 3) to share the news:
— David Alan Grier (@davidalangrier) March 3, 2016
The original Colonel Sanders, founder of the popular restaurant, was Harland Sanders. Sanders began the franchise that would later be known as KFC in 1952, after selling chicken roadside in Corbin, Kentucky. The KFC chain has gone on to become one of the most popular chicken-based fast food restaurants around the world, holding 18,000 store in 115 countries, according to its website.
The New York Daily News reports that fans have already begun to point out the racial implications of Grier’s new role, noting that Col. Sanders was considered for a running mate position by Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who ran a segregationist presidential campaign in 1968. Other fans however, have had less controversial reactions, however, encouraging Grier to add certain nuances to his new role.
Either way, this will be interesting. Congratulations, David Alan Grier!