Burger King’s Oversize Chopsticks – Is This Really Racism?

It’s possible that there might be more important, even more interesting, things to worry about. Burger King in New Zealand has withdrawn an ad showing people eating the new “Vietnamese Burger” using oversized chopsticks. Because, you know, making a joke about people eating something with oversized chopsticks just is so racist, right?

The thing is, well, this is toss:

Burger King has been forced to delete a “culturally insensitive” advert which depicted a westerner struggling to eat a burger with chopsticks, the latest western brand to be accused of mocking Asian food customs. The fast food chain faced a huge online backlash after an advert was posted to Burger King New Zealand’s Instagram depicting westerners attempting to eat the new “Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp Burger” with comically giant red chopsticks. The advert, which appeared to feature no one Vietnamese, was captioned: “Take your taste buds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City.”

Making distinctions about race and or culture is not racism or culturalism. Not in the sense that it’s something bad that must be abjured. So too with making jokes about cultural attributes. We’re all OK with a little tee hee about the Brits and bowler hats are we? As HMRC and Homepride flour make? So too with chopsticks, no?

Or has the society become so infantilised that it’s incapable of differentiating between chattel slavery and a bad joke?