Chino Latino's ad for new menu: Is it racist?

Categories: News, Off the Menu
ChinoLatinoMenu.png
Chino Latino
A spicy new menu and a hotbed of controversy

UPDATE: In a change of heart, Chino Latino has apologized for the ad and reworked the campaign to be less offensive.

Following the recent rollout of a new menu featuring Indian-inspired cuisine, Parasole-owned Chino Latino is getting some backlash.


To introduce its "New India Street Sheet" menu items like cauliflower pakora, vindaloo pork, and paneer omelette, the Uptown fusion restaurant released an ad containing some decidedly offensive copy. 

See also:

The ad depicts civilians walking the streets in what appears to be a mix of western and traditional Indian dress. In smaller font than the menu items, a bulleted list next to the image reads:
  • Untouchables welcome
  • Scimitars banned
  • No longer serving slumdog
  • I.T. Dept: Now Hiring!
Since it was sent out as an email blast, the ad has incensed many Twin Cities residents who identify as Desi (a slang term used by Indian people to refer to individuals and culture from the subcontinent), including Christy Spillman George and members of the Minnesota Bollywood Association.

"We are fans of irreverent humor and of Chino Latino," writes Spillman. "But in this case the attempt at 'edgy' humor has completely missed the mark, and has resulted in unfunny references to hurtful historical events and reinforcements of ugly stereotypes." 

This isn't the first time the Parasole Restaurant has been called out for shocking and offensive ad campaigns, spearheaded by marketing director Kip Clayton. A few years back there was major public outcry over a billboard that read "Happy Hour: Cheaper than a Bangkok Brothel" and another that read "Bachelorette Parties: Not Responsible for Damaged Goods." Even after Chino was ordered to pay $325,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit brought on by allegations of mistreatment of Hispanic employees, owner Phil Roberts brushed off comments from protesters  by saying he hopes to keep the ads "rather outrageous," adding, "I really do want people to be offended." He has also referred to the people who decry the billboards as "bedwetting hippies."

Well, if the job was to offend and enrage, this ad checked all the boxes for Spillman George. "This is roughly equivalent to, say, selling soul food with a side of slavery humor -- which we doubt would be so glibly tolerated."

Spillman George, her friends, and members of the MN Bollywood Association say they have tried to contact Parasole and Chino Latino via Facebook, emails, and phone calls, but so far their calls have gone unanswered and posts have been taken down or simply ignored. 

She and others would like to see the ad reworked and for the company to issue an apology. "Our hope is that Chino Latino isn't punished, but made aware that the ethnic communities of Minneapolis are viable sources of income, not fodder for their 'hipster racism'."


Location Info

Chino Latino

2916 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
Tom-B
Tom-B

Until they advertise the shame of White, Male, Rich, Heterosexuals, they have no right to claim it as tongue and cheek humor. 

How about a "Sacked Slave Owner Whisky", "Patriarch's Limp Piston Brandy",or a "Yacht Owner's Wallet Breaker"--(Happy hour specific dish)?

keny1
keny1

liberals always need something to complain about.  after all, they are always unemployed and need something to justify their miserable existence.    

Michelle Glass
Michelle Glass

People take themselves way too seriously. Laugh at yourself once in a while. It won't kill you.

WentRogue
WentRogue

@ethanethan ALSO: did laundry this morning and my panties were LITERALLY IN A KNOT. I wish I'd taken a picture.

WentRogue
WentRogue

@ethanethan Yeah, I don't really know why I'm bothering to get my panties in a knot over this. It's not like I'd darken that doorway...

jb10000lakes
jb10000lakes

Maybe if reviewers started slamming their fare in the same manner that they're "advertising" it.....

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

To be fair, the fact that Jeremy Hop thinks white people can even experience racism is proof enough that he doesn't understand racism... It's systemic, idiot...

Evan Druce
Evan Druce

Phil Roberts from Parasole cares much more about getting attention than he does about food. He needs to quit pulling offensive stunts like this, because you don't get repeat business from shock humor.

Lola House
Lola House

Another restaurant added to my do not shop list. What an idiot.

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

Yeah Jered, throw on some thicker skin. Obviously, you are unaware of the crap crackers get from all angles. Dont even think of grouping me into entitled, rich white man....this cracker is not.LOL

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

Famous- as in, I've heard waaay more about their racism than their food, or their business.

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

I think, it's obviously racist. Not maliciously so, but still racist. Chino Latino is pretty much famous for being racist at this point though.

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

No Mark, if people don't like it they can do a lot more than just 'go somewhere else' your statement kind of impies that Chino Latino is free to speak in racist ways, but nobody else is free to disparage it.

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

Bedwetting hippies. Now that's funny! Lighten up people. Go ahead, call me a cracker ass white boy. I'll laugh with you.

Charles Awad
Charles Awad

I'm more offended by how terrible it looks. Hire a designer.. Yikes.

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

Isn't Chino Latino kind of famous for being racist? They do this kinf of bullshit all the time.

Mark Jensen
Mark Jensen

In this age, nobody accidentally releases something like that. It's a marketing ploy for free advertisement. Nuf said

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

I'd say there is a little racism in it, but there is also some truth to some of it and as we very well know... The truth can hurt!

Chandra Fossen
Chandra Fossen

even if it was, i'd still eat there. the happy hour CANT be beat.

Nuevo Andrewismo
Nuevo Andrewismo

Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bink lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...