American-Japanese BBQ chain Gyu-Kaku happily announced the opening of their third Florida restaurant in Orlando with some Asian fetishism.
Gyu-Kaku, which specializes in “authentic Japanese Yakiniku,” exists in over 35 locations around the United States in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Houston.
What they don’t really specialize in, however, is culturally sensitive marketing, like the kind where the announcement of the opening of an “authentic” Japanese BBQ joint doesn’t include a white guy sandwiched between two Asian girls, no matter what state you are in.
As we well know, the white washing of Asian culture and fetishizing of Asian women to market it to Caucasian audiences is nothing new. The restaurant could have literally used any other combination of ethnicities and it would have been okay, but some genius decided a white guy with not one but two Asian women would do the trick.
Some netizens were quick to point out the cultural marketing faux pas in comments that went unanswered:
Japanese BBQ, much like Korean BBQ, lets diners grill their own meat and vegetables at their table. Food lovers of all ethnicities can enjoy the experience — Asian girls are not included.