Great British Bake Off Scraps National Theme Weeks Thanks to ‘Racism’ Complaints
The national-themed challenge weeks once a central part of the Great British Bake Off are no more. The segments have been scrapped in the upcoming 2023 series after some angry viewers cried “racist” and slammed the rounds as insulting to the nations featured.
The show had a Japan week in 2020, a German week in 2021, and faced a backlash after Mexico week last year saw it accused of cultural appropriation.
A contrite executive producer Kieran Smith told the Guardian: “We didn’t want to offend anyone but the world has changed and the joke fell flat.
“We’re not doing any national themes this year.”
Besides the dishes from each country which weren’t sufficiently authentic to some critics, last year’s Mexico week saw hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas don sombreros, use maracas, and speak in Spanish accents.
They also made puns as they quipped they couldn’t make a “Juan” joke about Mexico.
The accusations of casual racism and stereotypes followed. There were also complaints that Mexico week featured dishes that weren’t authentic, the BBC reports.
After the episode aired, Paul Hollywood said he was “gutted” with the reaction.
“I’d literally come back from Mexico about three weeks before we filmed the episode,” he said.
“I was all over the place, and we set the challenges based on what I’d seen there. The challenges were very good, and everyone did a good job.”