'The Great British Bake Off' Faces Backlash for Mexican Week

'The Great British Bake Off' Faces Backlash for Mexican Week

Popular cooking show The Great British Bake Offis facing online backlash for its messy Mexican-themed episode.

Promos from the show made the rounds on Twitter before the episode even aired — with sombrero-clad co-hosts Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding introduced as "the juan and only Matt and Noel." Minutes into the opening scene, the two compare Mexico to Xanadu and Oz, and wonder aloud, "So, is Mexico a real place?"

Meanwhile, judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith — the show's culinary experts — butchered pronunciations of common words like taco and pico de gallo. And some users wondered why Hollywood had chosen tacos as the technical challenge for a baking show, despite the wealth of Mexican traditional baked desserts like conchas, sopapillas, or churros.

Twitter users were quick to poke fun at the episode, calling out juvenile stereotypes and general cluelessness — including one contestant, who was seen hilariously skinning an avocado like an apple or potato. But others were more pointed in calling out the how the show's reductive portrayal reflected the casual racism of British culture.

Adriana Cavita, the Mexico-born chef behind London's Cavita restaurant, toldThe Guardian, "It’s a bit sad to see this kind of thing because, knowing my culture and my country, I feel it’s more than just a cactus and a sombrero.”

It's not the first time the show, which airs in the U.S. as the The Great British Baking Show, has come under criticism for lack of awareness. Some viewers pointed out a similarly offensive Japanese week, in which hosts referred to katsu curry as cat poo curry, and contestants were asked to make Chinese steamed buns rather than a dessert of Japanese origin.

Photo via Getty Images / PA Images / Danny Lawson