Burger King released an ad in New Zealand recently to promote their new Vietnamese Sweet Chili Tendercrisp sandwich, but it didn’t take long for the company to pull the ad right back down.
The ad was shared on Burger King New Zealand’s Instagram account with the caption, “Take your taste buds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City with our Vietnamese Sweet Chili Tendercrisp, part of our Tastes of the World range. Available for a limited time only.”
The reason? Many people said that the ad was racist. The chopsticks ad is no longer available on Burger King’s account, but here’s the ad shared by a Twitter user, who was upset about it.
So this is the new Burger King ad for a “Vietnamese” burger ok coolcoolcoolcoolcool CHOPSTICKS R HILARIOUS right omg etc 🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃 pic.twitter.com/zVD8CN04Wc
— 마리아. Maria. (@mariahmocarey) April 4, 2019
After Maria Mo, a Korean New Zealander posted the video online, it went viral, pulling in over 2 million views, according to Fox News. It didn’t take long for people to express their frustrations over the Burger King chopsticks ad, revealing it was offensive and racist toward the Asian community.
This ad just yelled “ching chong” at me with its eyes pulled up and asked me if I eat dogs. This is what happens when no poc are on the creative team.
— Jeannie (@JeannieBeanie99) April 6, 2019
LOL chopsticks amirite??????
Who the hell came up with this? There are a lot of Asian people in NZ, though they probably aren’t getting their Vietnamese food from Burger King 🤢 https://t.co/XSGYX7IVBR
— Catherine Shu (@CatherineShu) April 5, 2019
I admit to wearing A chopstick in my hair because the pencils have poked people in the eye and pens have that clip and not as a hair ‘ornament’- THIS AD IS THE WORST – GET YOUR FUCKING AD DEPARTMENT’S SHIT TOGETHER, @BurgerKing https://t.co/E91p7qix1Z
— Tamlyn Tomita (@thetamlyntomita) April 5, 2019
After Maria Mo posted the video and her dislike for the ad, it didn’t take long for people to retaliate, writing to her that she was overreacting. She revealed that there were plenty of people who couldn’t see anything wrong with the ad.
Mo would later tell HuffPost that she was shocked this kind of thing would still be happening now, telling the website, “Because I couldn’t believe such blatantly ignorant ads are still happening in 2019, it honestly took me a second to work out what the heck I was looking at.”
I don’t expect anyone to watch this video, but i took a screenshot to demonstrate that it took me nigh TWO MINUTES just to scroll past the hateful comments from racist MAGA muppets who think burgers are more important than people. pic.twitter.com/b3gfGh8Df4
— 마리아. Maria. (@mariahmocarey) April 7, 2019
On the other side of the argument, many argued that the ad wasn’t racist. In fact, many shared on Twitter that it wasn’t worth getting upset over. One person even called the ad funny.
If you're seriously going to get offended by a @BurgerKing ad because people are attempting to eat an Asian-inspired burger with chopsticks, don't call it racism because it's not. You're offended…over the use of chopsticks… wow. Seriously, get a life and a clue… pic.twitter.com/SHxpA3cjpb
— BIGSHOW (@BIGSHOWMIXER) April 8, 2019
@BurgerKing i have really no idea why you dropped the ad, it was okay, it was funny, and some people got offended by basically nothing. it looked funny and i think its a challenge to eat a burger with chopsticks. crazy silly ad, but clearly not racist.
— mrx1983 (@mrx1983) April 8, 2019
There's nothing racist about the ad, its actually funny, why do people find racism where there is none, so many parents raising a bunch of pansies
— wayneoliphant (@wayneoliphant3) April 8, 2019
Burger King has since pulled the ad.