Watch: U. of Florida Students Support Boycotting Panda Express for ‘Cultural Appropriation’

This March 4, 2020 photo shows a Panda Express restaurant in Phoenix. (Terry Tang/AP Photo)
Terry Tang/AP Photo

Students at the University of Florida would support a boycott of restaurant Panda Express due to the “cultural appropriation” of its “Americanized” Chinese food, and panda logo. The students were interviewed outside of a Panda Express by a Campus Reform reporter, with some students adding that they had eaten at the establishment the same day.

Campus Reform reporter Ophelie Jacobson conducted a social experiment at the University of Florida, where she asked students if they would sign a petition boycotting Panda Express due to its “cultural appropriation.”

“Because it’s not really representative of their actual culture,” Jacobson explained, playing up the SJW position. “The food is very Americanized, and just the way they present it, even the logo — the panda, it’s kind of cultural appropriation.”

“And so, in an effort to protect our Asianx community members here at the university, we’re asking if students would be willing to sign this pledge, maybe even try to remove it from campus,” Jacobson added.

All but one student asked signed the petition to boycott or ban Panda Express.

Two of the students who signed admitted to having just eaten from Panda Express earlier that day, while a third student who signed had actually just ordered from the restaurant in question, and set her food aside in order to provide her signature.

“Yeah, absolutely, I mean, I feel bad – I just got Panda Express. If I would have known I wouldn’t have purchased from them,” one student said0 after being asked to sign the petition to ban or boycott Panda Express for cultural appropriation.

“We had Panda Express for lunch,” laughed another student who was with a friend, before signing the petition.

“Boy, do I feel like a dog for signing it after I had Panda Express for lunch,” the other student added.

“I’ve never eaten at Panda Express, but the — I mean, it seems legit. The panda thing really sparked it,” said a fourth student who signed the petition.

The student also shared with Jacobson why they ultimately decided to sign the petition.

“Like, I feel like it’s a moral thing to do,” said one student.

“When you’re a white person, your culture is not usually appropriated. Usually you are the appropriator. So it’s just kind of, like, recognizing when you’re in the wrong, and then correcting it,” added a second student.

 

“I think equal representation for anyone is extremely important, you know, no matter who you are, where you live, you know, ‘America, land of the free,’ but I think there’s a big disconnect in what that actually means,” added one of the students who admitted to eating at Panda Express.

In response to whether she will continue to buy food from Panda Express, the student said, “No, I feel so horrible now.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.

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