AHEPA President Andrew C. Zachariades sent a protest letter to Arby’s CEO Paul Brown after the fast food chain released a commercial that is demeaning to Ancient Greeks.
The 15-second ad released in April advertises a gyros offer saying that Ancient Greeks are extinct because they couldn’t find a way to sell two gyro sandwiches for 6 dollars.
The claim in the commercial infuriated many Greeks and the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) President Andrew C. Zachariades sent a very eloquent letter of protest to the company.
Below is the letter sent to Arby’s CEO Paul Brown
Dear Mr. Brown
On behalf of the international membership of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), which was founded in Atlanta in 1922 on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred, I write to request an immediate halt to the advertising placement of a 15-second Arby’s commercial titled, “Arby’s: 2 for $6 Gyros | Mathematics.”
We strongly contend the commercial trivializes the contributions gifted to Western Civilization by the ancient Greeks, one of which is in Mathematics, and demeans the ancient Greeks. These contributions, which also include the arts, architecture, and sciences; and ideals, which include the notion of democracy and right of self-governance, inspired academicians, playwrights, and scientists; and revolutionaries, including our nation’s founding fathers, across centuries. To insinuate, as the commercial does, the ancient Greeks were led to become “extinct” because they did not have the logic, or could do the proper math, to sell two gyros for $6, is ludicrous and outrageous.
The ancient Greeks may have flourished 2,500 years ago. However, they are very much alive today because their contributions to Western Civilization in mathematics exist all around us—from the Pythagorean Theorem’s use to construct our homes and buildings and to aid in navigation; to NASA’s use of Pi in space exploration when operating Mars rovers such as Opportunity; to the obvious use of Euclidean geometry in art and architecture.
Therefore, although we appreciate the marketing of the gyro (its modern-day version credited to the late Mr. Chris Tomaras, an AHEPA Life Member), the manner in which the ancient Greeks are demeaned in the “Arby’s: 2 for $6 Gyros | Mathematics” commercial is unacceptable. Mr. Brown, we call for Arby’s to pull the ad immediately and to issue an apology. Thank you.
Andrew C. Zachariades