CNN has just aired an unfortunately timed Zach Brown Band Applebee’s ad during their live coverage of Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

CNN’s coverage of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, featured chilling sounds of air sirens ringing throughout the city- the sounds of war and fear and despair- which were promptly cut through by the upbeat music of the Zach Brown Band singing about fried chicken.

The live footage fell to a small minute corner of the screen as the looming storefront of Applebee’s grew larger and larger in the field of view. Creamy, dark gravy ran down the back of a heaping pile of fried chicken before the audience sees a slosh of beer foaming about in two Applebee’s branded glasses.

For the kicker, a dancing cowboy in tight jeans began to shake their ass to the camera in a triple-paned screen. All the while, the footage of Kyiv remained silent and small in the lower left-hand corner.

It’s pretty comical through the lens of dark humor and is so blissfully unaware of how it points a crooked and tired finger at the downfalls of the profit motive that created the situation itself, that one could be forgiven for letting out a laugh at the absurdity of the situation.

While Applebee’s most likely had no idea that their ad would be played in this slot, with this context surrounding it, the motive of putting ad revenue before the heavy weight of the topic being covered is a symptom of a larger root cause. Nobody wants to see dancing cowboys and gravy saturated chicken while tuning in to a live stream that is covering an area where friends and family could be in danger.

The caption of the Tweet reads, “WW3 sponsored by Applebees. We’re living in an episode of South Park.”

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Normally, this ad would’ve left me extremely hungry and wanting to dance with the frolicking cowboy man but this was terrible.

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