Weather Specialist and BBC TV/Radio presenter, Sara Thornton, caught attention on Twitter for an ignorant reply to a tweet from J.K. Rowling over a creature considered to be a South Korean delicacy.
The famed author commented on a post about Urechis caupo, better known as the fat innkeeper worm or the “penis fish,” on her Twitter on Wednesday.
Either way, I won’t be ordering it in a restaurant. https://t.co/8jbyQuB3HQ
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 12, 2020
A few moments later, Thornton commented on the post seemingly referring to the current COVID-19 pandemic saying, “Isn’t that sort of thing what got us into this mess?”
Oh yeah, let’s start sprinkling around a dash of overt racism to go along with a casual one why don’t we. pic.twitter.com/JZnTVjMWDg
— Not that Asian dude 🙃 (@geesubay) May 12, 2020
Twitter user @geesubay called Thornton out for her comment who then took to her own Twitter saying, “Absolutely disgraceful Twitter user twisting my words this evening. I despair at the world.”
“I like to think it’s pretty clear what kind of person I am: friend to all, unprejudiced, just a touch sarcastic. But hark, a complete stranger trying to drag me into their awful agenda.”
Absolutely disgraceful Twitter user twisting my words this evening. I despair at the world. I like to think it’s pretty clear what kind of person I am: friend to all, unprejudiced, just a touch sarcastic. But hark, a complete stranger trying to drag me into their awful agenda.😞
— Sara Thornton (@SaraThornton1) May 12, 2020
At least one user attempted to explain to Thornton how her tweet stigmatizes a cultural dish in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak that is widely believed to have originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China. However, there are still many who somehow still believe it was caused by Asians eating bats, regardless of specific Asian ethnicity, further fueling the ignorance of others who think that the appropriate way to handle the crisis is through racist harassment and violence on Asians all around the world. Given the contentious climate and Thornton’s response to the criticism, her claim to being a “friend to all” may not be true.
It’s fairly simple. You made a comment that tied cultural cuisine to “this mess” which can only refer to the coronavirus. Given today’s hostile climate toward those of Asian heritage due to misconceptions surrounding COVID’s origins, it was at best irresponsible, at worst racist.
— B⁷ (@redfilaments) May 13, 2020
Then you took the route of blocking the person of color who called you out instead of having an adult conversation with him, and proceeded to character assassinate him on your Twitter after the fact when he couldn’t defend himself. Not a good look. Let this be a learning moment.
— B⁷ (@redfilaments) May 13, 2020
Innkeeper worms, which have been around for 300 million years, are known in South Korea as “gaebul” (개불) or “dog genitals,” according to Heavy. This delicacy is known to be very chewy and very sweet, which is a result of being marinated in salt water for a long period of time.
Just like oysters, innkeeper worms are meant to be consumed right away. While others traditionally eat it raw and dipping it in a sauce called chogochujang (vinegared gochujang), locals who live near the West Sea prepare the worms and sauté it with kimchi. There are also those who skewer the worms and grill it with seasonings, such as salt, pepper, and sesame oil.
Feature Image via Getty