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“Appropriating Indian culture?” Foodpanda apologises for its ad, claiming that it promotes cultural diversity

Another day, another controversy.

Recently, a Foodpanda ad has received huge backlash from the Malaysian community regarding their choice of casting.

On September 29, the delivery platform published a video titled Pollywood to advertise their application on YouTube.

The video consisted of an all-Malay cast, including renowned actresses Adibah Noor and Nadia Aqulah.

Clad in traditional Indian costume, the cast danced and sang while showcasing the Foodpanda app’s latest feature.

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"appriopriating indian culture? " foodpanda apologised for its controversial ad.
The video featured an all Malay cast (Screengrab via Foodpanda Malaysia)

Internet backlash

This video received waves of backlash criticising them for ‘borrowing’ Indian culture.

Many pointed out that though the video was published in conjunction with Deepavali, it failed to feature a single Indian actor in it.

Foodpanda’s response

Today (October 10), the marketing head of Foodpanda, Vanita Menon Kris, has apologised and responded to the controversy during an interview with Malay Mail.

According to her, the company had not intended to offend the Indian community. Instead, it was supposed to celebrate the rich musical influence on Malaysia’s local television.

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Furthermore, Vanita said that the video is a teaser for an upcoming story that depicts the daily lives of a Malay household. The narrative was planned to air in October.

"appriopriating indian culture? " foodpanda apologised for its controversial ad.
The campaign tells the story of a three-generational-family (Screengrab from Foodpanda Malaysia)

We will feature them going through their daily lives using various Foodpanda joy hacks, multiple musical genres such as Bollywood and K-Pop to communicate the different hacks a consumer can do.”

The marketing head added that the video aimed to illustrate how Malaysians adapted to each other’s cultures.

Additionally, it was purposed to celebrate all things uniquely Malaysian.

“As such, Foodpanda would like to take this time to humbly apologise as it is never our intention to cause any discomfort to our consumers as we stay committed to delivering happiness to your doorstep.”

Watch the Foodpanda ad here:

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Cover Images via Foodpanda Malaysia

Author: WeirdKaya
Proofreader: Grace Choong

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