That’s Racist: The Outrage Of Marco Pierre White’s Knorr Advert
THERE are times when the Guardian manages to out-Guardian even itself. The last time was over the idea that the meerkat adverts are in fact racist: something which even the readers of the paper didn’t think was a likely result. Today’s example comes in a column about an ad that Marco Pierre White did for Knorr. Basically making Jamaican chicken with peas and rice by adding a couple of stock cubes to some rice, chicken and peas.
OK, it’s a pretty dreadful version of the dish but still, this is the final verdict from The G on why this is so appalling:
Beneath the tears of laughter at the hilarity of the video was the palpable and justified anger at an attempt to disregard the expertise behind Jamaican cooking. The community’s outrage at the hot mess cobbled together by MPW as “Jamaican-style” is however not just about the misrepresentation of their culinary skills. The evident lack of respect, mingled with an intention to create a marketable product was another example of cultural appropriation for wider consumption.
Cultural appropriation you what?
Even if we were to take the idea seriously what actually is the idea? That we’ve noticed that some people over there can do something better than we can so we’re going to copy what they do. This is how every invention in the fucking world ever has spread. As have foods (from China to Italy to the world), the potato, cocoa and even the damn rice and chicken in this dish (the chicken is originally from SE Asia and rice either from there or West Africa, depends which type is being used).
But beyond the the gargantuan stupidity of what is being complained about there’s one more delightful little detail:
He fries some chopped onions, talks of releasing their acidity and then adds brown rice (something I have never encountered when eating the dish), water, chicken, garden peas (not the traditional kidney beans) and three stock cubes.
Err, no love. The Jamaican version of this dish (it is, essentially, a risotto after all) is traditionally made with black eyed peas.
PS. The Voice reports:
A petition has even been launched via online activist network Avaaz, calling on the chef to “issue a public apology to the people of Jamaica”.
Knorr has since removed the video from its YouTube channel, and issued the following post on White’s YouTube channel, where the video can still be viewed:
“In response to user feedback, we have removed this video from our official Knorr YouTube channel. However, this channel (Marco Pierre White – Recipes) does not belong to Knorr, and as such we have no control over the content.
It could be anything in there…