Howls of "cultural appropriation" rang out recently over a pop-up "broth bar" in Toronto that sells bone broth, hot sauce, and multicultural foods — primarily because the company hosting it is owned by a white woman, blogTO reported.
What are the details?
The outlet noted that the broth bar by Ripe Nutrition popped up inside an athletic apparel store named PERMISSION earlier this month — but that partnership is kaput since the woke mob began lodging complaints.
Toronto Star editor Evy Kwong was prominent in the outrage campaign and posted a Twitter thread last week to that end about the "white owned trendy spot":
a white owned trendy spot on ossington is selling bone broth across from golden turtle pho. also sexualizing “jerk”… https://t.co/gYFQ3mUnQj— Evy Kwong 鄺文詠 (@Evy Kwong 鄺文詠)1605719705.0
Kwong also noted she was "sick" over the pop-up "sexualizing" some items — for example, sauces called "jerk me" and "hot pho u" and calling the broth bar a "brothel," blogTO said.
She added that "the cultures they are taking from literally fight daily for legitimacy. the *wellness* cleansing of the food, the lack historical understanding, and the number of followers is alarming. i'm not tryna knock small businesses but damn, this one hurts."
Kwong also said PERMISSION is located across from Golden Turtle, a restaurant that has been serving authentic pho and Vietnamese cuisine since 1987 and has been struggling to survive amid the pandemic, blogTO reported.
What happened next?
After many complaints and criticism, an apologetic Laura Santino — cofounder of PERMISSION — told blogTO that the collaboration with Ripe Nutrition was done: "We acknowledge the hurt this has caused and apologize sincerely. Our pop-up was not in line with community values or our company ethos, and we have decided to part ways, effective immediately."
Ripe Nutrition also apologized on Instagram:
"It is not the responsibility of people of colour to educate me, a white woman, on why cultural appropriation isn't acceptable," the statement from Ripe Nutrition founder Alexandra Baird read.
She added that she removed all culturally insensitive products from her company's website and is looking to "cultural sensitivity training" for the whole staff.
Cultural appropriation outrage has touched many sectors of society of late:
- Singer Adele was blasted for an Instagram photo showing her wearing leggings and a Jamaican flag-styled bikini top.
- A performance of "negro spirituals" by a mostly white vocal ensemble at Western Michigan University earlier this year elicited angry accusations of "cultural appropriation" — although the black guest professor who led the performance wasn't apologizing.
- Last December a Chinese restaurant in New York — opened by a white woman — was slapped with "cultural appropriation" complaints and eventually closed its doors for good.
- Actress Selma Blair a year ago took an online "cultural appropriation" beating for a photo of her wearing a head wrap — but she refused to apologize.