Why An Old Anthony Bourdain Video Is Coming Under Fire

Six years have passed since the tragic death of Anthony Bourdain, yet a lot of his words continue to sound their unwavering tones for a number of deep thinkers around the globe. Apart from Bourdain using travel to experience the richness of other cultures through food (via The Washington Post), his authenticity unapologetically made itself known: The renowned food critic was able to speak about the harsh realities of human existence, seemingly without skipping a beat.

Those who appreciate the honest food writer might have a hard time forgetting Season 2 Episode 14 of "No Reservations." Instead of filming another culturally unique food blurb abroad, Bourdain took the opportunity to honor the citizens of Beruit by exposing the atrocities of the 2006 Lebanon War (per The Atlantic).

Apart from showcasing the unnoticed, Bourdain also garnered attention for speaking his mind about various public figures in the food world. Whether he was accusing Paula Dean of excessive greed for her involvement with a diabetes initiative (per ABC News via YouTube) or insulting Guy Fieri's choice of clothes in relation to his age (per Atlanta Magazine), Bourdain's past words have rung far and wide. Another example of Bourdain speaking heavy words has just resurfaced on Twitter and it's hitting closer to home than anyone could have expected in 2022.

Anthony Bourdain's words regarding domestic workers in Singapore stoked strong responses

A Twitter clip posted by @theMcKenziest shows Anthony Bourdain in Season 10 Episode 1 of "Parts Unknown" and his response after hearing one of his Singaporean dining companions talk about having maids. She says that they take care of kids, laundry, and other household matters and refers to them as "the opiate of the masses." Bourdain responds by calling the arrangement "bourgeois" and says those with maids are "living off the labor of a repressed underclass."

The video created an uproar on social media regarding both the treatment of immigrant workers and the staunch confidence Bourdain exuded in his accusations toward Singapore's residents. 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 responded, "Flying around the world as a media class white dude consuming 'local' cuisines... is not bourgeois?" User @GrannyWeatherw4 accused him of "show[ing] up in their country and tell[ing] them they are living wrong and should follow his system."

Opposing views are expected. VICE noted several past examples where domestic workers have been abused. Unfortunately, Human Rights Watch indicated that the living conditions for many domestic employees in Singapore can be extremely difficult, with abuse and misconduct being reported in 2020. Yet when speaking of other cultures, some believe Bourdain should have considered his place in society before making his resounding opinions known.