chinese laundry update

I've been following along with the Chinese Laundry controversy, which pretty much blew up over at Reappropriate (somebody called her the "angry Asian American woman"), and caused quite a fuss with John Elkhay and local press... Read some very meaty updates here and here.

Chinese Laundry has apparently pulled the offending ad, though I don't consider much of a victory. The ad itself was really just a symptom of a bigger problem—the restaurant's objectification of women and exploitation of Chinese culture: Unusual body of work at Chinese Laundry.

Consider Chinese Laundry's red carpet opening:

For the VIP party only, Elkhay outfitted that private dining room with a model, scantily clad in red silk, to serve as a live platform for the wide selection of sushi that was set down on leaves. Imagine if the angry blogger saw that scene? Once the model left, another female, wrapped in a sheet, appeared, only this one was a photograph, larger than life-size, embossed on the table.

On the top floor is the "O" Ultra Lounge with another bar as well as low to floor red chairs and a bed-like couch. Two restrooms in the restaurant have television sets that show kung-fu movies from the '70s (with subtitles).

And yes, in case you were wondering, the models in question were reportedly Asian. Live nude human sushi platters? Kung movies in the bathroom? Seriously, like I said before, why not just have the waiters wear coolie hats? Throw in the fact that the restaurant now sits on the site that used to be Sam Sing Laundry, an actual Chinese-owned business that was forced out of the property a few years back, and it all really just makes you want to throw up. That's racist!

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