Six years have passed since Anthony Bourdain’s tragic death, yet many of his words still ring with their unwavering tone to many deep thinkers around the world. In addition to using travel to learn about the richness of other cultures through food (via The Washington Post), Bourdain’s authenticity made itself known unapologetically: The renowned food critic could talk about the harsh realities of human existence, seemingly without skipping a beat.
Those who appreciate an honest food writer may have trouble forgetting Season 2, Episode 14, “No Reservations.” Instead of filming another culturally unique food blurb abroad, Bourdain took the opportunity to honor the citizens of Beirut by exposing the atrocities of the Lebanon War in 2006 (according to the Atlantic). Louise Fletcher, Oscar winner as Nurse Ratched in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ dies at 88
In addition to showcasing the overlooked, Bourdain has also gained attention by talking about various public figures in the food world. Whether he was accusing Paula Dean of being overly greedy for her involvement in a diabetes initiative (according to ABC News on YouTube) or insulting Guy Fieri’s choice of clothing in relation to his age (according to Atlanta Magazine), Bourdain’s past words have resonated far and wide. Another example of Bourdain talking tough words just hit Twitter, and it’s hitting closer to home than anyone could expect in 2022.
Anthony Bourdain’s words regarding domestic workers in Singapore have sparked strong reactions
A clip on Twitter posted by @theMcKenziest shows Anthony Bourdain in “Parts Unknown” Season 1 Episode 10 and his reaction after hearing one of his Singaporean diners talk about having a maid. He says they take care of children, laundry and other household chores and refers to them as the “opiate of the masses”. Bourdain responds by calling the arrangement “bourgeois” and saying that those with maids are “living off the labor of the repressed lower class.” Amazon Quiz: Who Finished The Asia Cup 2022 As The Leading Run Scorer In The Tournament?
The video sparked an uproar on social media both over the treatment of migrant workers and the firm confidence Bourdain exuded in his accusations against Singaporeans. While many users praised Bourdain and tried to spread awareness about the treatment of domestic workers, some believed the chef to be quite hypocritical. User @fredleept replied: “Flying around the world as a media class white dude consuming ‘local’ cuisine… isn’t that bourgeois?” User @GrannyWeatherw4 accused him of “showing up in their country and telling them they live wrong and should follow his system.”
Opposing opinions are expected. VICE noted several past examples of domestic workers being mistreated. Unfortunately, Human Rights Watch has indicated that living conditions for many domestic workers in Singapore can be extremely difficult, with reports of abuse and ill-treatment in 2020. However, when we talk about other cultures, some believe that Bourdain should have considered his place in society before making known sound opinions.