Monday, February 27, 2012

Ben & Jerry's apologizes for using fortune cookies in 'Lin-Sanity' flavor

A Boston branch of Ben & Jerry's has apologized for offering a frozen yogurt flavor— that was inspired by NBA sensation Jeremy Lin and "listed fortune cookie pieces" as an ingredient— because there were a few complaints that it played on Asian stereotypes.

"Taste The Lin-Sanity"— a flavor offered for a limited time at the Vermont chain's Harvard Square location— replaced the fortune cookie bits with a waffle cookie served on the side after what the shop's general manager called "a bit of a backlash."

"On behalf of Ben & Jerry's Boston Scoop Shops, we offer a heartfelt apology if anyone was offended by our handmade Linsanity flavor that we offered at out Harvard Square location," the local company said yesterday on its @Ben.JerryBoston Twitter account.

The popular new flavor—which was only sold at the one location— sold out over the weekend.  Lin played his college ball at Harvard University.

"We are proud and honored to have Jeremy Lin hail from one of our fine, local universities and we are huge sports fans," said statement from the Ben & Jerry's Boston group.  "We were swept up in the nationwide Linsanity momentum.  Our intention was to create a flavor to honor Jeremy Lin's accomplishments and his meteoric rise in the NBA, and recognize that he was a local Harvard graduate.  We try to demonstrate our commitment as a Boston-based, value-led business & if we failed in this instance we offer our sincere apologies."

While everything from All-Star weekends to ice cream companies try to cash in on the Linsanity craze, it sounds like people are getting a little too sensitive about the Taiwanese-American's heritage.

The apology sounded awfully similar to the one made by ESPN after the network posted a headline and aired a word many consider offensive to Asians.  Those gaffes led to a suspension and a firing.

Funny thing is fortune cookies are rarely served in China and the after dinner treats are only mostly common in Chinese restaurants in the U.S..  They're as American as apple pie— or Jeremy Lin.

The politically-correct chain also said the pieces of cookie— mixed in with the frozen yogurt and lychee honey swirls— became soggy.

There was no exp-LIN-ation for that.

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