Reba McEntire Is Now Colonel Sanders & The Internet Has Questions

Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images Portrait

Reba McEntire is making history in the most finger-lickin' way. The Grammy award-nominated country superstar is the first woman ever to portray Colonel Sanders, KFC's mustachioed mascot, Billboard reports.

McEntire swaps her signature fire engine-red hair for short, silvery strands in the chicken franchise's newest commercial advertising its Smoky Mountain BBQ flavor. Though she donned a pair of spectacles and Sanders' signature facial hair, McEntire still got to show off her bold fashion sense with a bedazzled tux and sequined bowtie.

Throughout the minute-long ad, McEntire tries to convince a bar filled with rowdy, fowl-eating patrons that she's "definitely not a woman" posing as an elderly southern man. Because you can never get too much Reba, the "Fancy" crooner even made a brief cameo as herself.

McEntire is the latest celebrity to pose as the Colonel since the company launched its rebranding campaign back in 2015. According to Paste, other Sanders impersonators have included Ray Liotta, Rob Lowe, and Rob Riggle.

So, what made KFC choose to feature a woman now? Some have joked that the company could be leading the charge in providing women with more representation in a male-dominated fast food commercial industry (with the exception of Wendy's, of course). The best response, perhaps, comes from comedian Alyssa Limperis, who wrote that America's answer for women proclaiming #TimesUp on sexism and inequality is to dress a famous country singer in drag.

The explanation from KFC was a little less on the nose.

"KFC has always said that the role of the Colonel is bigger than any one person, and that anyone who embodies the Colonel’s spirit of entrepreneurism showmanship is qualified to play the iconic role," KFC told Refinery29 in a statement. "The time has always been right, KFC pairs the right celebrity with the right campaign to make it relatable to our fans. Reba’s charismatic personality, connections to the south and country music, and impressive career made her the ideal fit to be the Smoky Mountain BBQ Colonel.”

In what probably comes as a surprise to no one, some people were enraged that the chicken empire might dare put a woman in the spotlight. One person even claimed the ad was "Political Correctness gone mad."

Will McEntire's role finally put an end to the systemic discrimination women and gender non-conforming folks experience on a daily basis? No, it won't. But, for some, it's still a darn good time.

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