A Labour member of the shadow cabinet has attacked the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for so-called cultural “appropriation” after he launched a “punchy jerk rice” product.
Cultural appropriating is a concept popularized on university campuses, whereby white people are said to have harmed minorities by adopting and even celebrating elements of their culture.
Dawn Butler, Member of Parliament for Brent Central and shadow Equalities Minister accused Oliver of not staying true to the traditional Jamaican recipe, which is usually a marinade for meat such as chicken.
Writing on Twitter, she ranted: “I’m just wondering do you know what Jamaican jerk actually is? It’s not just a word you put before stuff to sell products.”
She continues: “Your jerk rice is not ok. This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.”
#jamieoliver @jamieoliver #jerk I'm just wondering do you know what #Jamaican #jerk actually is? It's not just a word you put before stuff to sell products. @levirootsmusic should do a masterclass. Your jerk Rice is not ok. This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.
— (((Dawn Butler MP))) (@DawnButlerBrent) August 18, 2018
The intervention by the hard left supporter of Jeremy Corbyn prompted ridicule online, with some questioning whether attacking a brand of rice was the best use and elected politicians time.
Neil O’Brien, the Tory MP Harborough, replied: “If Jamie Oliver isn’t allowed to make Jerk chicken because it’s cultural ‘appropriation’ she’s going to go mad when she finds out about ‘Jamie’s Italy’”.
Stephen Pollard, an author, and commentator said: “This woman is in the shadow cabinet. She’s objecting to the name of a recipe.”
Shortler after Butler’s message, an image of her wearing an Indian Sari garment surfaced, giving rise to accusations of hypocrisy.
Not looking too clever here, Dawn. Also, where were all these tears when 'Jamie's Italian' was getting its big push? Guy's from Essex; pretty sure that ain't in the Mediterranean. pic.twitter.com/qNnDW0zWCn
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) August 20, 2018
The chef’s branded £2.30 microwaveable rice is vegetarian and includes garlic, ginger and jalapenos and is sold in most supermarkets.
One Twitter user wrote: “Now while I do think Jamie needs taking down a peg or three you’re all getting very silly over this appropriation stuff. If no one cooked/ate food from other cultures in the world what a boring life we’d lead.”
Benjamin Tucker said on the social media platform: “Are you honestly saying that white people can’t cook food from other cultures in case they get it slightly wrong?”
Because you'd obviously go up to Oxford at 18 years old looking forward to your first cultural appropriation lectures https://t.co/y6LBtcacOI
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 18, 2017