The chairman and chief executive officer of a clean cosmetics company is beginning to come under fire over culturally-insensitive comments she had made on social media regarding Asian mushrooms.
Annie Lawless, who founded Lawless Beauty in 2017, talked about “gross” Asian mushrooms from “shi**y” Chinese restaurants while hiking in a now-deleted Instagram story.
“We’re out here hiking and we’re discussing those really gross little Asian mushrooms that you get like, in soup if you’re at like a really shi**ty Chinese place, that are kind of slimy and like, gray,” said Lawless, who captioned her story “bc this is normal hiking chat.”
She continued, “What are they called? We have a debate [going on]…”
“Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” star Dorothy Wang managed to record Lawless’s story before it was deleted, describing it as “a perfect example of how not to act.”
“I’ll just leave this here as a perfect example of how not to act. Calling another culture’s food gross and shi**y is never cute or classy!”
Wang, who actively speaks against racism, shared that Lawless’s comments resonated with her as she used to hear similar things in the past.
“As a kid who always heard ‘Ew, what’s that!’ and ‘Ew, that’s gross!’ from my classmates during lunchtime, this really resonates with me. Remember, just because you didn’t grow up eating something or don’t have the taste for it, doesn’t mean that it’s gross!”
Wang pointed out that disliking Chinese mushrooms does not mean they are “slimier” than American mushrooms.
“They may taste ‘slimy’ because they are submerged in a soup! I’m sure other types of mushrooms get wet and therefore ‘slimy’ when they’re submerged in liquid as well.”
Based on a photo she had shared, Lawless apparently referred to Hon Shimeji mushrooms — tiny, button-capped mushrooms with slender stems that are joined in a clump at the base.
They come in white and brown colors and are native to East Asia.
Lawless has made her personal Instagram page private, presumably from an initial backlash, but her company’s page remains accessible.
Word about her comments continued to spread on Twitter.
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