Monday night, I was working on some photos for a project and not paying attention to the TV when I started to get a creepy vibe. Okay, so Andrew Zimmern is on Bizarre Food. He’s usually so diplomatic that I looked around for another source for the vibe, but no. It was Zimmern. He was in the Fez, Morocco – which is to say a Moslem country. He’s been to Moslem countries many times, so what happened next was fucking inexplicable.
He was in a kitchen filled with women. He was talking to the women about how men do not come into the kitchen. It was specifically a discussion of gender roles when I felt a twinge somewhere and looked up. The tone of his voice was all wrong. His hands rested gently on the shoulders of the woman who ran the kitchen. I sat up straight and started coaching, “Andrew, don’t touch her! You can’t touch a married woman!”
Somehow, he didn’t hear me. Then he was around on the other side of the table and I saw his hand gently touch another woman. I was now out and out shouting, “Andrew! Stop it! Don’t touch her!” He leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek! She took a step back, horrified. The voiceover, done by Zimmern, explained why what he had just done was wildly inappropriate – AS IF THAT COULD BE A SURPRISE TO HIM. I can’t say this enough: Andrew Zimmern has traveled all over the world.
Believe it or not, the rest of the episode was filled with appalling little moments and indelicate outbursts. I spent more time than I want to admit with my hands covering my eyes and not working on my project.
Oh. My. God. He was like a one man International Incident.
It’s not embedded because I have no attention span, but you must watch this video. It’s about four minutes.
How could this fucking happen? How could the Travel Channel broadcast this?