LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Amazon.com’s Whole Foods Market sparked social media outrage after its latest retailer in its 365 grocery chain partnered with an Asian restaurant with the racially charged identify of Yellow Fever.
The independently owned and operated eatery – whose identify is taken from the slang time period for a white man’s sexual attraction to Asian ladies – is positioned within the 365 retailer that opened in Long Beach, California, on Wednesday.
“An Asian ‘bowl’ resto called YELLOW FEVER in the middle of whitest Whole Foods — is this taking back of a racist image or colonized mind?” Columbia University professor and writer Marie Myung-Ok Lee, wrote on Twitter.
Whole Foods, which has eight shops in its 365 chain that was launched with a no-frills idea to win over millennials, declined remark.
“Yellow Fever celebrates all things Asian: the food, the culture and the people and our menu reflects that featuring cuisine from Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand and Hawaii,” stated Kelly Kim, government chef and co-founder of Yellow Fever, which additionally operates two Los Angeles-area eating places.
“We have been a proud Asian, female-owned business since our founding over four and a half years ago in Torrance, California.”
Kim, who’s Korean-American, in earlier interviews stated she was conscious that the identify selection could be attention-getting and controversial.
“One night, we just said ‘Yellow Fever!’ and it worked. It’s tongue-in-cheek, kind of shocking, and it’s not exclusive — you can fit all Asian cultures under one roof with a name like this. We just decided to go for it,” Kim advised Asian American information web site NextShark six months in the past.
A 12 months in the past she advised the Argonaut, an area Los Angeles information outlet, that Yellow Fever means “love of all things Asian” and that public push again over the identify had not been as drastic as anticipated.
Some individuals on social media defended the information of the partnership with Whole Foods as a part of a broader cultural development.
“This is no more offensive than @abc naming an Asian sitcom Fresh of the Boat or FOB- which is considered racists [sic],” wrote Lorin Hart, who makes use of the Twitter deal with @CubeProMH.
Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Marguerita Choy