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Burger King pulls chopsticks ad after social media furore
BURGER King has pulled a promotional video in New Zealand showing customers trying to eat burgers with chopsticks after it sparked an outcry in China and demands for an apology from the US fast food chain.
The video, posted on a franchisee's Instagram account, showed Westerners with oversized chopsticks in each hand, struggling to eat the company's new "Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp Burger".
Burger King said it asked the franchisee to remove the video immediately. The video was taken down by Tuesday afternoon.
"The ad in question is insensitive and does not reflect our brand values regarding diversity and inclusion," Burger King said in a statement to Reuters.
Social media users in China demanded an apology, saying Burger King had mocked Asian customs and dining etiquette. The hashtag "Burger King apology" was viewed more than 50 million times on the Twitter-like microblog platform Sina Weibo by Tuesday afternoon.
Others gave Burger King, which operates 1,000 stores in China, the benefit of the doubt. "I am not sure if this is truly racial discrimination. But the people who made the ad really do not have brains," wrote one commentator on Weibo.
Chinese media outlets compared the video to one issued by Italian luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana last year, which featured a Chinese model struggling to eat pizza and spaghetti with chopsticks.
Dolce & Gabbana was forced to cancel a fashion show in China and social media users threatened a boycott. The brand's co-founders later asked for forgiveness in a video apology. REUTERS