Lena Dunham is driving the OUTRAGE train like no this week. First, when Girls producers Tami Sagher posted on Instagram about how New Yorkers should rip the guns from the Jason Bourne posters in the subway, Lena shared that post and added, “Good idea… Let’s go!” And now Lena (seen above appropriating the female dog culture by wearing a “bitches” sweatshirt) has let everyone know that she too thinks that crap sushi is highly offensive to the Japanese culture. Lena Dunham just has to rant about how “dressing like animals for Halloween is offensive and belittling to animals” and she’d officially become a Portlandia sketch in human form.
Late last year, students at Oberlin College in Ohio protested that the “phony” ethnic foods their cafeteria served up were offensive and disrespectful. Students wrote in the school paper that when the cafeteria workers, who I’m guessing didn’t go to Le Cordon Fucking Bleu, serve a dish that is not like the dish it’s named after, it’s wrong and you’re pissing on the culture it came from. One student, who is from Japan, wrote this about the cafeteria’s sushi:
“The undercooked rice and lack of fresh fish is disrespectful. When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture. So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.”
The director of Oberlin’s dining services apologized and promised to do better. (Maybe-translation: They’re going to start pissing in the food.)
Since Lena graduated from Oberlin in 2008, Food & Wine recently asked her about the protest during an interview for their site. Lena, who probably didn’t have to survive on Top Ramen (which is as authentic as it gets when it comes to ramen) like most students, agreed with the protesters, because of course she did:
There are now big conversations at Oberlin, where I went to college, about cultural appropriation and whether the dining hall sushi and banh mi disrespect certain cuisines. The press reported it as, “How crazy are Oberlin kids?” But to me, it was actually, “Right on.”
The average cost of tuition at Oberlin is $51,000 a year and that’s the problem. They need to up it to at least $150,000 a year, so they can bring in skilled chefs from all over the world to make completely authentic dishes for the students. Because when an Oberlin student suffers while eating bad sushi, we all suffer.
But seriously, I hope Lena Dunham never steps foot into a food court, because my life will shatter and I don’t know what I’d do if she told me that Sbarro isn’t authentic Italian, Panda Express isn’t authentic Chinese and General Tso didn’t spend years perfecting his chicken recipe in between being a general and shit.