Whether it’s fake beef, fascist chickens or toaster oven-shaped stadiums, the Louisville-based fast food giant Yum! Brands is no stranger to bad press, but flattening President Obama with a fish sandwich in a foreign country might’ve went too far.
Besides hiring an actor who looks nothing like the president, Yum! Brands apologized for the caricature characterization, and pulled the commercial from the Chinese market. According to MSNBC, the food corporation gets a third of its revenue from China, where it operates more than 3,700 restaurants, which explains the quick response to the stir.
“The ad was created in Hong Kong for the Hong Kong market only. It was meant to be a spoof and no disrespect was intended. It is no longer airing and will not be re-aired,” a Yum! spokesman said in a statement.
However, this isn’t the first time Yum! has peddled a racial stereotype in a foreign land to sell what it calls food. In 2010, the company ran an Australian commercial that featured a white soccer fan calming down rowdy black spectators with fried chicken.