Questlove Sparks Controversy by Blowing Up NBC’s Black History Month Menu

Published by Dior Noir on Friday, February 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm.


When Questlove Tweets, his million plus followers listen! The Roots drummer helped stir up controversy when he Tweeted a picture of an NBC lunch menu yesterday with a note that said “Hmm HR?”:


(What no watermelon?)

The spotlight on the fried-chicken meal that was supposed to be in honor of Black History Month has caused a complete uproar!  Accusations of stereotyping and racism started flying so fast that NBC quickly shut the whole operation down Tweeting: “The sign in the NBCU cafeteria has been removed. We apologize for anyone who was offended by it.” The menu was reportedly replaced with a grilled chicken meal.

Was it really that deep?

The chef Leslie Calhoun, who is African-American, seemed to wonder as well. “I don’t understand at all. It’s not trying to offend anybody and it’s not trying to suggest that that’s all that African-Americans eat. It’s just a good meal,” she said, “I thought it would go over well, we don’t have it normally here.” Calhoun said that after eight years of trying to seek approval from management to do a special Black History Month menu they finally tried it last year and it went over well. So this year the chef was told that every Thursday for the month of February she could serve whatever she chose.

Now, I don’t know too many people, Black or otherwise, who don’t enjoy a little soul food so I don’t see what the problem is.  And apparently, Questlove still got his eat on! Said Calhoun: “Questlove, who I serve every day and who enjoys my food, requested the neck bone [cooked in] the black-eyed peas and fried chicken, then got off the line, saying, ‘This is racist.’”

What’s your take on NBC’s Black History Month menu?

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