A burger chain in Perth, Australia has come under fire for naming one of its menu items with a term deemed derogatory towards Asians.
Lisa Chappell, an Australian-born Chinese customer, was shocked to find that Johnny’s Burgers in Canning Vale has called its “Asian inspired” burger the “Ching Chong burger.”
Chappell’s discovery prompted her to launch a petition on Change.org, calling for the burger to be removed from the menu.
“Touted as a ‘Gourmet North American-style buns and challenge burgers, dished up in a simple, spacious hangout,’ Johnny’s Burger Joint serves up an extra side dish that is frowned upon by many. Racism!!” Chappell wrote in her petition.
According to a Facebook post from the restaurant made three years ago, the burger was inspired by the Malaysian roots of owner Johnny Wong.
Chappell has reportedly been in contact with Wong, but the owner still refused to rename the burger, MailOnline reports.
Meanwhile, Chappell’s petition, which was started three weeks ago, has so far received 190 signatures.
Some commenters on the petition pointed out that since Johnny and many of his restaurant staff are Asian, they should be able to use the derogatory term.
“It’s not a case of white racism against Asian people — if anything it’s a humorous attempt to take ownership of the term and disempower it,” one netizen wrote.
The restaurant would later thank those who have supported them during the controversy in a follow-up Facebook post.
“We’ve recently received an overwhelming response of awesome messages that have inspired us to keep on doing what we’re doing,” the post read.
Over the years, the term “Ching Chong” has been used to mock the Chinese language, people of Chinese ancestry, or other Asians perceived to be Chinese.
Recently, another Asian-owned restaurant named “Yellow Fever” caused a similar debate when it opened its third location inside a Long Beach, California Whole Foods. While many called for the establishment to change its name, just as many saw the owner’s desire to reclaim an offensive term.