Sunday, June 7, 2015

McDonald’s Was There for Me When No One Else Was

By James Franco

McDonald’s sales have slumped. Maybe the public wants healthier food. Maybe there’s too much competition. Maybe people aren’t into the chipotle barbecue snack wrap. McDonald’s leaders have vowed to reverse the downturn by recommitting to “hot, fresh food,” by selling off certain outlets to independent owners — which would reduce the number of corporate-covered employees with a newly raised minimum wage — and by cutting $300 million in costs. How this cost cut will affect jobs remains unclear.

But I want the strategy to work. All I know is that when I needed McDonald’s, McDonald’s was there for me. When no one else was.

In 1996, I moved to Los Angeles from Palo Alto at age 18 to study English at UCLA. I soon realized that half the city was working in the movie industry and the other half was trying to get into it, and because I hadn’t applied to the theater department as an incoming freshman, I would have to wait two years to even apply.

Two years seemed like an eternity, so I dropped out of college and went to a hole-in-the-wall acting school in the Valley. My parents, who both had master’s degrees and valued education, told me I would have to support myself if I wasn’t enrolled in college.

Read the rest here.

(ht Bill Foote)


  1. What a beautiful article. I'm grateful to James Franco for breaking ranks from Hollywood liberals to write this. And grateful to Jeff Bezos for running a newspaper willing to publish it.

  2. Great write up.

    McDonald's was one of the few 'treats' that me and my siblings were able to enjoy in the late 70's and early 80's when poor and being raised by a single mother; though the food is probably much worse in content from a ,health perspective today than it was back then.