Jamie Oliver Cultural Appropriation Controversy
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Jamie Oliver Cultural Appropriation Controversy refers to the response to a mass-produced food item by chef and food personality Jamie Oliver called "Punchy Jerk Rice." Some have argued that the product is, in fact, not jerk-flavored, as rice cannot be barbecued and have accused Oliver of culturally appropriating Jamaican cooking.
On August 18th, 2018, United Kingdom Parliment Member Dawn Butler tweeted,  "#jamieoliver @jamieoliver #jerk I'm just wondering do you know what #Jamaican #jerk actually is? It's not just a word you put before stuff to sell products. @levirootsmusic should do a masterclass. Your jerk Rice is not ok. This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop." The post (shown below) received more than 630 retweets and 1,900 likes in three days.
Reactions to the controversy ranged from outrage to mockery, as people weighed in on whether or not Oliver should be allowed to call his product "jerk" when it is not.
Twitter user @ReginaHolland_ tweeted, "There's no such thing as jerk rice apart from what Jamie Oliver has concocted. That's her point. Anybody from any nationality can eat anything they want, there are just some dishes that are best left alone and enjoyed how they're supposed to be made." The tweet (shown below, left) received more than 15 retweets and 145 likes in three days.
Another British MP mocked the controversy, mistaking the issue of making "jerk rice" with "jerk chicken," tweeting, "If Jamie Oliver isn’t allowed to make Jerk chicken because it’s cultural 'appropriation' she’s going to go mad when she finds out about 'Jamie’s Italy.'" The tweet (shown below, center) received more than 295 retweets and 1,100 likes in three days.
Twitter user @tune876 found the product offensive, tweeting (shown below, right), "No but I’m honestly upset bout this Jamie Oliver jerk rice. Rice can jerk!? Friggin yam head, Only 2 things can jerk an is chicken an pork, likkle teefing bwoy dem. They love to copy other ppl things and sell it, hardly even know what the term mean."
On August 20th, Oliver responded to the criticism. In a statment, he said:
I've worked with flavours and spices from all over the world my whole career, learning and drawing inspiration from different countries and cultures to give a fresh twist to the food we eat every day.
When I named the rice my intention was only to show where my inspiration came from.
Various media outlets covered the controversy, including BBC, The Independent, Telegraph and more.
 Twitter – @DawnButlerBrent's Tweet
 Twitter – @ReginaHolland_'s Tweet
 Twitter – @NeilDotObrien's Tweet
 Twitter – @tune876's Tweet
 The Independent – Jamie Oliver defends 'punchy jerk rice' product after accusations of cultural appropriation | The Independent
 BBC News – Jamie Oliver's 'jerk rice' accused of cultural appropriation
 The Independent – Jamie Oliver defends 'punchy jerk rice' product after accusations of cultural appropriation
 The Telegraph – Jamie Oliver accused of cultural 'appropriation' by minister after he launches jerk rice
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