BBC: Are Chopsticks Racist?


“Are food bloggers fuelling racist stereotypes”, asks the BBC in a headline on its news website, the article highlighting concern about “microaggressions” in food media.

“Food media is predominantly generated by white people for white people, so when the subject veers toward anything outside of the Western canon, it’s not uncommon to see things generalised, exotified, or misrepresented,” Filipino-American food and travel photographer Celeste Noche told BBC Trending.

“I think microaggressions in social media are reflective of food media as a whole in that appropriation,” Ms. Noche said, citing photographs of Asian dishes placed on bamboo mats or framed with chopsticks and banana leaves as examples.

The Filipino-American singled out Andrew Zimmern as an offender on this front, accusing the food blogger of feeding into stereotypes by styling his recipe for Filipino short ribs with chopsticks “even though Filipinos traditionally eat with spoons and forks or their hands.

“We need to break away from the idea that white and western is the base standard for media portrayals – whether in food, film, literature, etc – and start trusting and hiring people of colour to represent themselves,” Ms. Noche added.

The public broadcaster’s unit tasked with tracking stories which are ‘going viral’ on social media, BBC Trending, discussed racism in food blogging with Ms; Noche after she appeared on a podcast which garnered a total of 4 ‘likes’.

It is unclear where on the internet ‘The Racist Sandwich’ podcast, on which Ms. Noche shared her thoughts on the “exotified” depiction of ethnic dishes, was ‘trending’ as it has few followers on Twitter.

Breitbart London revealed last year that despite the BBC’s claim that “impartiality lies at the heart of public service”, the content put out by its Trending platform is overtly slanted to the liberal-left.

The investigation found a large proportion of material on the BBC unit’s YouTube page rallied for liberal causes like feminism, LGBT, transgender issues, and mass migration to the West.


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