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Canada New Toronto restaurant accused of using racist branding

04:45  16 january  2020
04:45  16 january  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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a car parked on a city street: The restaurant, Uncle Ray's Food & Liquor, is located just south of Church and Front Street.© Patrick Capati/Global News The restaurant, Uncle Ray's Food & Liquor, is located just south of Church and Front Street.

A new Toronto restaurant is facing backlash for promotional material that some have accused of containing images and phrases that could be considered culturally inappropriate and racist.

The restaurant, Uncle Ray's Food & Liquor, is located just south of Church and Front Street.

An image on a news release promoting the business that went viral online contains an image of a gorilla that some, including the local city councillor, Kristyn Wong-Tam, said is an old racist trope.

"I hope they are able to re-think and do a quick pivot, apologize to the community and just make right moving forward," she said.

Wong-Tam said residents expect more from marketers and restaurateurs operating in one of the most diverse cities in the world.

"Torontonians are fair-minded," she said.

"They would probably not want to patronize a place that opens up with a press release that is using one of the oldest and racist tropes out there and that is clearly anti-Black."

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Author and publicist Dalton Higgins told Global News the release also used terms like "urban" and "side hustle" that bring to mind Black stereotypes.

"It was using all this sort of hip-hop slang or slanguage about having a side hustle room and 'slinging good food' -- and it read to me like the people behind this campaign or the ad copy people are most certainly not Black," he said.

Adam Teolis, a co-owner of the restaurant, declined to speak to Global News in person but responded by email.

He wrote, "The branding for this project was completed without enough due consideration and the result was oversight on our part. It was not intentional in any way, shape or form."

The restaurant is set to open on Friday.

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