Burger King pulled a promotional video in completely new Zealand showing customers trying to eat burgers with chopsticks after the idea sparked an outcry in China in addition to demands for an apology through the U.S. fast food chain.
The video posted on a franchisee’s Instagram account showed Westerners with an oversized chopstick in each hand struggling to eat the company’s completely new “Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp Burger.”
Burger King said the idea asked the franchisee to remove the video immediately. The video was deleted through the Instagram account by Tuesday afternoon.
“The ad in question is actually insensitive in addition to does not reflect our brand values regarding diversity in addition to inclusion,” Burger King said in a statement to Reuters.
Social media users in China demanded an apology, saying Burger King had made a mockery of Asian customs in addition to 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 particular is actually truly racial discrimination. nevertheless the people who made the ad genuinely do not have brains,” said 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 product struggling to eat pizza in addition to spaghetti with chopsticks.
Dolce & Gabbana was forced to cancel a fashion show in China in addition to social media users threatened a boycott over the campaign. The brand’s co-founders later asked for forgiveness in a video apology.
Burger King is actually a subsidiary of Toronto-listed Restaurant Brands International.