CNN broadcasted yesterday that things have gone haywire in Rachael Ray’s upbeat world of quick meals and fancy foods. Her smiles and numerous viewers from the Food Network landed her a job with Dunkin’ Donuts, serving as a spokeswoman and enjoying a couple of roles in their ad campaign. Unfortunately, her partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts has come to an end.
MarketWatch shows that her online advertisement was recently pulled off the web due to constant complaints from viewers about a scarf that she had chosen to wear for the shoot. A fringed black and white scarf, it was chosen for her by stylist to complement the celebrity chef, who in a statement says it was chosen for its “paisley design,” but it has instead tarnished her reputation because of its resemblance to the kaffiyeh, turning her into someone who shockingly “supports Muslim extremism and terrorism.” (The kaffiyeh, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad.)
Michelle King, Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman, said the ad began May 7th , running on multiple commercial websites, but it has caused an uproar among viewers, causing Dunkin’ Donuts to have second thoughts, and to eventually say, “our ad was pulled because of the possibility of misperception was detracting buyers from the original intention of buying of our coffee.”
This is a prime example of what entrepreneurs’ debate before hiring celebrities, asking themselves, is the risk worth taking? Rachael Ray could have brought Dunkin’ Donuts an enormous amount of customers simply due to the trust she’s earned and the friendliness she conveys to her audiences. Somehow she just seems like the girl next door even though she’s making more than most of us ever will. Here, we are given a glimpse into the heart of society as Dunkin’s plans of capitalization were shot down because of assumptions of Rachael Ray.
AP reports that one of the largest voices in this riot was Michelle Malkin, a well known commentator, who was convinced that the scarf was mocking the kaffiveh, the traditional Palestinian scarf. She posted an article online last Friday, saying, “the kaffiveh has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists… the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and (not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and leftwing icons.” MarketWatch also shows that countless other people showed their distaste in blogs, posting opinions and drawing more attention to her scarf by asking for votes and comments to see what others thought about her clothing. To numerous others the scarf stood for Muslim extremism and terrorism. Irritated, Dunkin’ Donuts said no symbolism or cultural mocking was intended, but the damage was done. Now Ray is embarrassed and and her contract has been terminated while Dunkin’ stands sweeping up the mess.