Readers of the New York Times are slamming the paper for its “insensitive” use of chopsticks in a photo illustrating a story about an Asian steakhouse. Critics say the chopsticks show that the paper doesn’t understand Asian traditions.
Many on social media were incensed over the odd placement of chopsticks in a photo that originally accompanied a story about the restaurant Jade Sixty, a new eatery that is reportedly an “Asian-inspired” steak house, according to Huffington Post.
The photo shows two pairs of chopsticks, one set sticking out of a slab of steak meat and another poking up out of a dish of sliced meats.
Critics, though, slammed the paper noting that Asian traditions eschew leaving chopsticks poking up in the air because it is reminiscent of funerary practices and violates dining etiquette:
Food stylist doesn’t understand “chopstick placement”… proper do’s and don’t’s. Photo is “bad luck.”
— iamlinda ⌘ (@pica2pixel) December 28, 2017
Others wondered why anyone would be using chopsticks on a giant slab of steak in the first place:
am I supposed to eat the whole steak w/chopsticks??
— party squid (@vikicheung) December 28, 2017
Asians stick chopsticks under steaks as levers to catapult the meat into their mouths. Tres traditional.
— 🏴 (@jgriffiths) December 28, 2017
Indeed, some Twitters users even got upset at the use of the word “Asian” at all insisting that there are too many Asian countries to use such a catchall phrase:
Inspired by, like, ALL of Asia? I don’t see any Indian or Malaysian food on that table. Oh, I forgot. All of Asia is basically the same.
— HeiHei is bae (@pranishk) December 28, 2017
For its part, the Times removed the photo with the chopsticks but did not comment on the controversy.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.