Burger King New Zealand removes chopsticks advert after being accused of racism

‘How dumb can their marketing team be?’

Sabrina Barr@fabsab5
Tuesday 09 April 2019 12:32
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Burger King chopsticks advert condemned for 'racism'

Burger King New Zealand has removed an advert showing customers attempting to eat a burger with chopsticks after being accused of racism.

In the advert, which was shared on the fast food chain's social media channels, several individuals eat the new Vietnamese-inspired burger using oversized chopsticks.

"Take your taste buds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City with our Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp, part of our Tastes of the World range," the caption of the clip read on Instagram.

The advert has since been removed on social media by the Burger King franchise after being lambasted for being culturally insensitive.

However, the video has continued to spark backlash online.

Maria Mo, a pianist living in New Zealand, shared the advert on Twitter, in a tweet that's garnered more than 4,500 likes and more than 3,500 retweets.

"Orientalism is harmless funnnn [sic]," Ms Mo sarcastically tweeted.

"I'm so sick of racism. Of any kind. Of the kind that makes fun of different cultures, to the kind that shoots and murders those peacefully praying in their place of worship. Say no to everything single manifestation of it," the musician added.

Several Twitter users agreed with Ms Mo's point of view, expressing their disdain over the advert.

"How dumb can their marketing team be," one person commented.

Someone else described the video as "blatantly insensitive and ignorant".

While the advert has been removed from Burger King New Zealand's social media channels, the Vietnamese burger featured in the video can still be found on the fast food chain's website.​

According to a Burger King spokesperson, the company asked its New Zealand franchise to remove the advert immediately.

"The ad in question is insensitive and does not reflect our brand values regarding diversity and inclusion," the spokesperson said.

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The chopsticks advert has been compared to a similar campaign launched by Dolce and Gabbana last year.

In November, the founders of the Italian fashion label issued an apology following the release of an advert featuring an Asian model eating Italian food with chopsticks, which was labelled "racist" by critics.

“Our families have always taught us to respect the various cultures of the world, and for this, we want to apologise if we have made mistakes in interpreting your culture,” said co-founder Domenico Dolce.

“We offer our sincerest apologies to Chinese people worldwide," co-founder Stefano Gabbana added.

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