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Nebraska man demands name change for 'boneless chicken wings'

One man's passionate speech about the popular appetizer is going viral.
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

In 2020, there has been no shortage of pressing issues occupying the minds of many Americans.

But there's one issue in particular that moved Ander Christensen, a citizen of Lincoln, Nebraska, to stand up and insist upon change. During a recent Lincoln City Council meeting, Christensen took to the mic when the floor was opened to the public for comments and insisted that the time was ripe to change the term "boneless chicken wings" ... to something else.

"We've been living a lie," he passionately told members of the council during a meeting held Monday. "I propose we as a city remove the term boneless chicken wings from our menus — and from our hearts."

Footage of the speech was originally shared by local news station KRVN.

"Lincoln has the opportunity to be a social leader in this county," he continued. "We have been casually ignoring a problem that has gotten so out of control that our children are casually throwing around names and words without even understanding their true meaning."

His alternate suggestion? Call them "buffalo-style chicken tenders" or — a TODAY favorite — "saucy nugs."

Christensen added, "We've been living a lie for far too long, and we know it because we feel it in our bones."

Slow clap.

The city council found the whole thing amusing, councilor Richard Meginnis told TODAY. "When he got up there everyone was waiting for the same old same old, and he started going off on boneless chicken wings and I could almost see through (my fellow city councilors') masks that everyone was smiling," he said. "It perked everyone up."

Chicken, yes. Wings? No.
Chicken, yes. Wings? No. TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

The fact is, Christensen does have a point: "Boneless" wings are not actually wings that have been cleverly de-boned. According to the New York Times, they're just "slices of breast meat deep-fried like wings and served with the same sauces — a bit like a spicy chicken McNugget."

Or, as actor Jimmy O. Yang told Bon Appetit, "It sounds like a creation from Dr. Frankenstein. Boneless wings are not wings! They are not even dark meat! They are bite-sized insults to my palette and intelligence! Any restaurant who serves boneless wings should be indicted for fraud."

Real chicken wings, of course, do require a little bit of gnawing, though how much meat you can chew off your wing varies depending on the eater, as TODAY discovered in 2019.

It turns out that far from ruffling anyone's feathers, Christensen's idea has taken flight on social media. Former NBA player Rex Chapman tweeted out the speech on Wednesday. His post landed over 21,000 likes and nearly 6,000 retweets:

"Lincoln, Nebraska: Finally, someone with guts. Speaking truth to power," he wrote.

Christensen reported back that, so far, he has yet to have an official reply:

"A storm is brewing. The Lincoln City Council has yet to make a public statement but they can see the writing on the wall. #SaucyNugs" he wrote.

The incident has even reached international waters. Another politician weighed in from Port Adelaide, Australia:

"As a city councillor from the other side of the world, I am heartened and inspired to witness such passionate grassroots campaigning on contentious public policy challenges," Matt Osborn wrote. "No one should have to put up with degraded language or trash snacks."

That said, there's always going to be a dissenter in every group:

"Boneless wings are better than bone in wings," Amazing Octo wrote.

For now, the city council isn't sure what they'll do with this information, but Meginnis said he'd be "willing" to have a discussion with the city attorney. "We haven't looked into it," he said. "We can do resolutions, we can say we support that, but I don't know what kind of legal ordinance we can do."

That said, Meginnis isn't much of a wing fan. "I like rotisserie chicken," he said.

For now, the most official reply has come from another member of the Lincoln City Council — Anders' father.

Roy Christensen told TODAY via email, "The Lincoln City Council will take this issue under advisement."