Good Charlotte’s Madden brothers: From PETA activists to KFC posterboys

Selling out is one thing, but Good Charlotte’s Madden brothers – Joel and Benji – are seemingly prepared to put personal ethics and lifestyle choices aside to get on the potato and gravy train.

The pop-punk opportunists are the faces of a new KFC campaign, which encourages fast-food lovers to pen a song about the everyday moments that make being in Australia and eating fried food “So Good”. The pair have signed up to write the a new ditty for KFC and they’re calling on fans to submit videos, stories or photos to a special “Good Times Gallery” to inspire the anthem.

Only trouble is they’ve been vegetarians (or at least purport to be) since 2003 [Update: Joel Madden is now claiming he’s never been a vegetarian]. In 2009 they created vegetarian and vegan burritos for a late-night dining menu US restaurant chain Denny’s and have been outspoken in their support of animal rights group PETA, with Good Charlotte appearing on a 2003 PETA compilation called Liberation alongside fellow animal advocates Goldfinger, The Used, Midtown, NOFX, Story of the Year and Anti-Flag. Benji even appears in a YouTube video against animal cruelty, in which he discusses his vegetarian lifestyle, saying that animal rights is something “God put on my heart”.

But putting aside the fact that KFC has no vegetarian options at its Australian franchises, the endorsement looks even more suspect when you consider that Good Charlotte member Billy Martin – a one-time PETA vegetarian of the year – just last year joined tourmates Goldfinger in a series of demonstrations in the US aimed at urging the public boycott of the fast food giant.

PETA, of course, has been a long-running opponent of KFC. In 2001 they launched a “Kentucky Fried Cruelty” campaign that sought to change KFC’s treatment of chickens raised for its restaurants in the US. Since then they claim to have protested more than 12,000 times against KFC.

Incidentally, Benji Madden’s former girlfriend Sophie Monk was criticised for being “two-faced” in 2008, after she was snapped with food from KFC, despite being a PETA activist and vegetarian.

The KFC campaign was launched last night at an exclusive event in Sydney featuring a rendition of ‘Good Times’ by Jimmy Barnes and the Madden brothers. The Maddens will perform the jingle at the International Twenty20 cricket match at ANZ Stadium on Australia Day. They’re also appearing at tomorrow night’s ARIA Awards in Sydney.

CLARIFICATION: Joel Madden has denied involvement with PETA, telling us via Twitter that he’s never been a vegetarian.