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Burger King faces stark criticism for what many social media users are saying is a culturally insensitive ad. Here it is.


Is it or isn't it?

Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Social media had a field day with Burger King after one of its latest advertisements went viral for apparent cultural insensitivity.

What are the details?

Burger King aired an ad in New Zealand featuring one of the franchise's latest offerings: the Vietnamese Sweet Chili Tendercrisp.

In the ad, many patrons can be seen attempting to — unsuccessfully — eat the sandwich with Asian chopsticks.

A caption for the company's Instagram campaign read, "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."

One Korean New Zealander told the Huffington Post that she immediately took offense to the ad.

"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," Mario Mo told the outlet.

"[People of color] are constantly having to deal with microaggressions as well as outright hatred and it just never ends," Mo added. "I was watching it thinking there must be some kind of layered twist ― only to realise, no, there was no twist, it really was that base level."

Mo also shared a Twitter update slamming the brand.

"So this is the new Burger King ad for a "Vietnamese" burger ok coolcoolcoolcoolcool CHOPSTICKS R HILARIOUS right omg etc."

Catherine Shu, another Twitter user, chimed in and added, "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."

What did Burger King do?

Burger King has apparently since removed the ad from its social media. New Zealand's Newshub reported that the company issued an apology in connection with the advertisement.

"We are truly sorry that the ad has appeared insensitive to our community," said James Woodbridge, who the outlet identified as the restaurant's general manager for marketing. "We have removed it and it certainly does not reflect our brand values around diversity and inclusion."

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