Sarah Michelle Gellar recalls being sued by McDonald’s when she was five because of Burger King ad
Sarah Michelle Gellar has amusingly recounted how she found herself involved in a legal battle with McDonald’s when she was just five years old.
According to Gellar, who reflected on her childhood acting career during a new interview with BuzzFeed UK, the lawsuit revolved around a Burger King commercial that she starred in when she was five.
“This is really funny. This was this big campaign that I did for Burger King and I was five,” the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star recalled of the 1981 commercials. “And I was the first person to say another competitor’s name in a job, and so McDonald’s turned around and sued the advertising agency, Burger King and me at five.”
In the commercial in question, Gellar compared the burgers sold at Burger King to those sold at McDonald’s, with the then-five-year-old claiming that, when she “orders a regular burger at McDonald’s, they make it with 20 per cent less meat than Burger King”.
“Unbelievable,” Gellar continued in the ad. “Luckily, I know the perfect way to show McDonald’s how I feel. I go to Burger King.”
Although the ad led to legal troubles for Gellar, what she remembers most about her involvement in the Burger King commercial was her realisation that food seen on TV isn’t actually edible.
“But what I really remember was I didn’t eat a lot of fast food at the time, and when we were there, I just wanted a burger,” she said. “I was so excited because my mom said that I could have the burger.
“And what I learned on that day is that when they make the burgers for commercials, they glue each seed on it to make it look all perfect and beautiful, and then they shellac it, and they paint it. You guys, TV is not real.”
This is not the first time that Gellar has opened up about her legal battle with the fast-food company, as she told the Sunday Express in 2004 that she “wasn’t allowed to eat” at McDonald’s during the lawsuit, which she said was “tough” considering the popularity of the chain.
“It was tough because, when you’re a little kid, McDonald’s is where all your friends have their birthday parties, so I missed out on a lot of apple pies,” she said.
According to HuffPost, Gellar was named in the lawsuit and had to testify about claims such as “that’s why I eat at Burger King instead of McDonald’s”.
The case was settled later that year, at which point Burger King reportedly pulled the offending ads. However, the outlet reports that Gellar continued to appear in commercials for the fast-food brand.
The Independent has contacted McDonald’s and Burger King for comment.