Back Eat & Drink » Food Culture » Burger King Pulls 'Racist' Ad of People Eating 'Vietnamese' Burger With Giant Chopsticks

Have it your way, but what if that way is exaggerated chopstick use with racist undertones?

Burger King New Zealand just landed itself in hot water after a video commercial for its new Vietnamese-style burger was posted on Instagram. The short clip shows several diners trying to wolf down the new burger using a pair of comically large red chopsticks. Some even hold each of the chopstick in separate hands. Why?



The questionable video was spotlighted first by Twitter user Maria Mo (@mariahmocarey), a New Zealander of Korean descent, who mocked the ad for its use of Asian stereotypes. Chopsticks are used across the world by billions of Asians every day, none of whom would use them to eat a burger in such a hyperbolic manner. “To me, it was just another portrayal of Asian culture that narrowed it down to a caricature,” she told Washington Post.

The Vietnam-inspired dish, named Vietnamese Sweet Chili Tendercrisp, was released as part of the fast food chain’s new “Tastes of the World” series, featuring American-, Japanese- and Vietnamese-style burgers. According to the Burger King website, Vietnamese Sweet Chili Tendercrisp has mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion, a fried chicken patty and sweet chili sauce. “Take your taste buds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City,” the description reads.

A Vietnamese burger with nothing Vietnamese in it. Screenshot of the Burger King New Zealand website.

Mo’s sentiment was echoed by other Asian users who censured the brand's cultural insensitivity. Some even noted that sweet chili sauce is not even Vietnamese, but Thai. Others chimed in with past instances of when Asian cultures were mocked by big brands in a failed attempt at humor. Dolce & Gabbana’s unbelievably racist chopstick ad is one of them.

According to The New Zealand Herald, the same video ad by Burger King was pulled from television last month by the Advertising Standards Authority, albeit for a different reason. The authority deemed that the ad is “enticing people to overeat” due to a line in the script: “Just need another three.”

After the backlash, Burger King has pulled the incendiary video from its social media altogether and issued an apology. “The ad in question is insensitive and does not reflect our brand values regarding diversity and inclusion,” it said. “We have asked our franchisee in New Zealand to remove the ad immediately.”

Related Articles:

[Video] PETA Releases Cringeworthy Rap Video Attacking Bánh Mì, Phở, Adobo

Phở Furor: American Chef Blasted for Telling People How to Eat Phở

Burger King Unleashes 'Black Burger' on Japan

Related Articles

in Food Culture

'Trendy' Elephant Poop Coffee Taking off in Vietnam

Vietnam is known for its cafe chồn, coffee beans that are ingested, pooped out by weasels and sold at prices far higher than the normal variety. Now, a Vietnamese breeder is adopting a similar techniq...

in Food Culture

2 Vietnamese Restaurants in Saigon, Hanoi Named Among Asia's 100 Best

Vietnam’s culinary prowess is no secret, with its traditional dishes helping to draw tourists from all over the globe. 

in Food Culture

20 Vietnamese Foods You Need to Try Now

Uyen Luu, author of My Vietnamese Kitchen and contributor to Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube, shares her favorite Vietnamese dishes and how to cook them.

in Food Culture

30% of Coffee in Vietnam Has No Caffeine: Survey

If you've been seeking out cà phê sữa đá from street carts for a super-caffeinated start to your workday, you might want to look elsewhere, as there’s a chance you've been drinking coffee-flavore...

in Food Culture

5 Eateries Doing Takeaway to Try Today, as Recommended by Saigoneer Staff

Starting from this week, Saigon officially enters another two weeks of social distancing orders. While staying at home, what do you miss?

in Food Culture

5 Of Saigon’s Best Markets

When people think of Saigon, the iconic Bến Thành Market usually comes to mind. But while it’s rich in history, for locals, it’s little more than a tourist attraction. Vietnam Coracle recently took to...

Partner Content