A Hong Kong “Naked Sushi” event has been cancelled due to the backlash it received from netizens, who described it as being sexist and objectifying women. Chinese restaurant Fang Fang was supposed to hold what they called a “Japanese Cabaret Brunch Party” featuring entertainment from Nyotaimori Tokyo.
According to South China Morning Post, the planned three-hour buffet was to feature a century-old art called “nyotairmori” or “female body arrangement.” This unique spectacle involves eating sushi straight from the body of woman, or, in some cases, the body of a man.
While organizing partner Vines and Terrior justified the event by describing its Naked Sushi portion as not sexist but art, netizens vehemently disagreed with a slew of negative feedback.
One Facebook user exclaimed “this is egregiously sexist, You are objectifying women” while another rallied that the event was “promoting nothing but sexism” and that it “needs to be shut down.” However, Vines and Terrior co-founder Valentin Maurel explained that the event was aimed at “reviving old traditions in a modern way” and that it was merely an artistic affair.
“We are in 2017 and one should understand that art is controversial,” Maurel added. Not everyone was buying Maurel’s explanation however as one user argued saying “just because it’s traditional doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to revive it.”
Fortunately for the affected netizens, their cries have been heard and the restaurant host decided to withdraw the event altogether. “Based on the feedback from our customers we have reconsidered this event, we are a venue which wanted to host the show and women being objectified is clearly not what we want to do,” the restaurant’s statement read.
This decision might have saved the restaurant from additional controversy, since a previous naked sushi event held in China’s Taiyuan city ended in disaster. Perhaps the event would garner less criticism if they held a different yet equally tantalizing approach to sushi art instead.