FRANKFORT, Ky. – With a bust in the balance, Kentucky's governor is siding with Colonel Sanders over Pamela Anderson.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher wrote the "Stacked" actress to say a bust of the KFC founder will stay in the Kentucky Capitol, despite Anderson's claim that Sanders is a symbol of cruelty to chickens.
"Colonel Sanders remains a Kentucky icon," Fletcher wrote last week. "His success story has been an inspiration to many. The industry he began has employed hundreds of thousands of workers over the years. His business and his legacy have been good for Kentucky."
Anderson has been involved in a public relations campaign with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to raise awareness of what she calls abuse of chickens in processing plants that supply poultry to the Louisville-based chicken chain.
She responded to the governor's decision in a letter Tuesday, saying Sanders' chief legacy is a company "that mutilates God's creatures."
In her letters to Fletcher, the 38-year-old actress has detailed alleged abuses of chickens by KFC suppliers. Among her claims, she said workers in a slaughterhouse in West Virginia have been filmed tearing the heads off live birds, spitting tobacco in their eyes and boiling the chickens alive in tanks of scalding water.
KFC has called Anderson's attack on Sanders a misguided publicity stunt.
Fletcher was courteous in his letter, thanking Anderson for her comments. "I hope you will feel free to contact me any time an issue is important to you," he wrote.
The white-bearded, bolo-tied Harland Sanders, who died in 1980 at age 90, began the Kentucky Fried Chicken empire more than six decades ago from his own kitchen in rural Corbin, serving a few hungry travelers who stopped in his service station. Now, KFC restaurants serve more than a billion chicken dinners a year around the world.