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]…”
— eh (@DreamingBIG4me) April 4, 2019
“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.
This is why you don’t call another culture’s food “gross.”
Annie Lawless has a clean beauty cosmetics company. On her IG story she said: “We’re discussing those really gross little Asian mushrooms that you get like in soup if you’re at like a really shitty Chinese place…” pic.twitter.com/yLhjlyO0H7
— 錢彥霖 | AMY CHYAN (@ayl) April 4, 2019
Blogger & Suja Co-Founder Annie Lawless on ethnic food: “those really gross little Asian mushrooms that you get, in like, in soup, that you get in a shitty Chinese place”.
The garbage Asians have to hear from foreigners is really tiring.
— J♡ (@JKLIGHTE) April 5, 2019
This is the co-founder of Suja Juice @sujajuice, Annie Lawless Jacobs who is saying ugly things that have offended several Asian people on Instagram. People will probably shrug it off like they did with @gucci @prada and @katyperry after they embraced blackface, but still. https://t.co/rSIT0uXebj
— I’m That Type Of Guy (@Marrrrcussss) April 5, 2019
— Malynn Tu (@mayrinntu) April 5, 2019
@Sephora please watch this and consider taking down #lawlessbeauty off your shelves because this is unacceptable. I’ll shop for my makeup elsewhere with companies that don’t support #annielawless https://t.co/7TrlSmLgxg
— Elaine Cheng (@telainecheng) April 5, 2019