Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond is facing some heat after a controversial segment about Asian Americans. Comic Book reports that Drummond offended viewers after making a crude joke about Asian cuisine in a 2012 segment of her show.
The controversial episode aired in 2012 and features Drummond playing a prank on her husband. In the segment, Drummond serves her husband and his friends a delicious looking platter of Asian hot wings. Instead of savoring the dish, the men immediately express their doubts and disgust.
“What is that?” one of the men says in the clip while a friend says, “No!”
When Drummond asks why they don’t approve of the meal, the group requests some “real wings.” One of the men even says that he doesn’t “trust” the wings based on their name. Drummond eventually caves to the pressure and admits that she was playing a joke.
“I’m just kidding guys, I wouldn’t do that to you!” she tells them before breaking out a rack of traditional, American, hot wings.
“Now those are some wings,” one of her husband’s friends states.
Drummond previously told the audience that her husband enjoys Buffalo-style wings and that she wanted to prank him with an Asian variety.
“I like to mess with my spouse, I can’t help it,” she explained.
The clip might seem innocent enough, but some viewers took offense to Drummond’s dish on Asian-American cuisine. In fact, many hit back on social about the episode promoted ideas of xenophobia and racism.
The Huffington Post reports that the creators of the Thick Dumpling Skin website, Lisa Lee and Lynn Chen, have since spoken out against Drummond’s racist joke. In their official statement, Lee and Chen criticized the Food Network for its portrayal of Asian cuisine and lack of Asian chefs.
“There isn’t a single show on the Food Network hosted by someone Asian, unless you count Iron Chef (and we don’t),” they explained. “Why must we watch non-Asian cooks who can’t pronounce “Sriracha” and don’t have a chopstick drawer show us how to make our own dishes? And how come, when they do, we have to watch as their entire family mocks it ― like in this episode of The Pioneer Woman?”
According to AOL, fans were quick to pick up on the inappropriate joke and took to social media to express their distaste. While some fans pointed out that anti-Asian jokes are not acceptable, others hinted that they would cancel their cable subscription all-together.
For those unfamiliar with Drummond, Hollywood Life reports that she started out writing a blog, The Pioneer Woman. Drummond shared video tutorials on the site and offered her own recipes. She also talked about her life on the ranch with her cowboy husband and kids.
Although she currently lives on a ranch, Drummond actually started out living in the city. Following her high school days, Drummond went to college in California and enjoyed getting pedicures and eating sushi on a regular basis. She eventually met her current husband in the city, and the couple married and moved to his cattle ranch.
Drummond really rose to popularity after she beat out Bobby Flay on Throwdown! in 2010. The two competed against each other for a Thanksgiving dinner, and Drummond actually came out on top.
Drummond then launched her own show, The Pioneer Woman, on the Food Network in 2011. The series has been going strong ever since and follows a similar format as her blog, including segments on recipes and ranch life.
The Food Network has not commented on Drummond’s scandalous segment and whether it will affect her show’s future. Sources indicate that Drummond is defending her statement and doesn’t believe it was racist.
Tell us! Do you think that the Pioneer Woman star’s joke was racist or just in poor taste? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Food Network]