A Whopper of a Slam

By: Lisa Coleman

Burger King has recently come out with the “Texican Whopper” burger. Another in a long line of disgusting offerings from my least favorite fast food joint. This time there is no freaky dancing king with a plastic head to promote their “food.” The advertisement (so far only run in Europe) for this chili-flavored burger features a small “Hispanic” wrestler (wearing a mask and a cape that looks like a Mexican flag) teamed with a tall, white American cowboy. Together they are to illustrate the melding of Texas and Mexico… I guess.

Here is the clip… you may want to watch it before we proceed.

So you don’t have to replay it… The narrator says a few odd things, including “one plus one equals three” in regard to the mismatch, then ends with “”The taste of Texas with a little spicy Mexican.”

At this point you might find it clever, amusing, or offensive. Depends on which way you want to skin the cat. I am all for clever sarcasm and creative wit, but I for one, come down on the offensive side. Maybe I’m uptight (well, that’s for sure), but at what point does it become bad business to simply make fun of people to sell a product? Isn’t there more creativity and intelligence out there? (That wasn’t a rhetorical question.) I mean seriously, how could the big brass at Burger King think this was okay? I think this is too much. It falls right in line with the Jack-in-the-Box advertisement for the “Mini Sirloin Burgers” with midgets and miniature cows. And the quote in that ad… “they’re herding cows the size of schnauzers but they’re cattle.”

You might be chuckling now, and that’s okay too. Probably wondering what I’m getting all worked about… But for me, personally, I think Mexico is up against enough stereotypes with talking Taco Bell Chihuahuas and the entire North American press. The media (including advertisers) have managed to breed fear and present an ongoing misperception of the Mexican people and who they are. If it’s not drug dealers and illegal aliens, they will find some other negative spin that Hispanics will have to fight.  Hello? There is a bit more to a country with thirty centuries of human cultural evolution than the picture the media so happily paints.  Now, with blatant disregard for the Mexican flag and a jab at Mexicans for loving wrestling (can’t be as bad as our idiotic and banal reality TV), Burger King will bring the fast food crowd yet another muddy view of the water. 

I’ll step off now. But, really, where are the boundaries here?