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Burger company's 'Old Colonial' prompts accusations of racism

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Burger company blasted for 'commodification of colonial legacies', but is the backlash deserved?

From SheKnows UK

National restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen has earned criticism over one of its burgers — but not everyone feels the backlash is deserved.

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According to The Tab, the burger in question is the "Old Colonial," which consists of a 30-day, dry-aged steak burger, Red Leicester cheese, crispy bacon, pickles, Bangkok slaw and beef ketchup, and can be yours for £11.45. Everyone seems happy with the ingredients — it's the company's choice of name that's brought criticism.

Burger company blasted for 'commodification of colonial legacies', but is the backlash deserved?
Image: Gourmet Burger Kitchen

A woman named Ella Baggaley Smith took a photo of the company's advertisement outside its Brunswick Centre branch and uploaded it to a closed Facebook group called Race Matters (a copy of which can be found on The Tab), in which she referred to the burger as "casual commodification of colonialism."

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"Given that the repercussions of Britain's colonial legacy are felt across the world to this day, it seems entirely inappropriate that GBK should make it a theme for one of its burgers," she wrote.

"They are representing centuries of racism and violence as if it were just a handy theme for their restaurant, whitewashing over heinous crimes. I think at best, GBK are being culturally unaware about the offence this advert could cause. Otherwise, they are celebrating and, worse, capitalising on a period whose overwhelmingly negative history goes far beyond a crappy burger."

However, not everyone shares these views, as evident by the reaction to the article.

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The Tab reports that the company has not responded to comment — although that may be because they were currently facing backlash over a burger advertisement, which reportedly left vegetarians feeling alienated.

This makes for an interesting argument, but what side do you take? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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