A McDonald’s restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui was the centre of attention yesterday as protestors claimed that the burger behemoth has appropriated Hong Kong’s favourite cartoon characters. Unionists also gathered to protest at the chain’s unpopular labour practices.
The chain has incited rage through its use of the well-established (and unrelated) cartoon pigs McMug and McDull for a promotional campaign that involves a giveaway of souvenirs and dolls to Hong Kong children.
McMug and McDull “were created in the late 1980s, symbolise the spirit of a simple life, friendship and environmental protection,” explained Tai Ngai-lung, programme officer of the Christian Industrial Committee (CIC). He added: “But these characters are now being exploited by McDonald’s, a trans-national corporation known for its exploitation of cheap labour.”
About ten members of the CIC and the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions performed a short play featuring McMug and McDull for the benefit of consumers. Both characters die in the play, as a result of eating too many hamburgers in the mistaken hope of getting toys from McDonald’s.