Great British Bake Off’s ‘Mexican Week’ Is Straight-Up Disrespectful and Wrong
UK’s Channel 4 powerhouse series “Great British Bake Off” decided to have a “Mexican week,” and while the episode hasn’t yet aired in the U.S.— the images that have been shared on social media are just unbelievably messy and disrespectful to say the least.
Fans of the “Great British Bake Off” (and they are many) love the show because of its technical challenges involving everything from bagels to churros, “showstopping” creations like sandcastles and lion heads made entirely out of baked goods, and of course, the hosts’ and judges’ very-British, usually cute antics.
Many people have compared watching the show to getting a massage for your brain, watching rabbits leap across a field as the judges try rosewater cupcakes and merengue everything.
That being said, the “Mexican week” episode has the exact opposite effect on viewers— pure chaos. It is an ignorant, under-researched spectacle where the hosts make racist jokes like “Not even Juan” while wearing cheesy sombreros.
It gets worse. Twitter users have gotten a hold of clips from the episode, so US-based viewers can get in on all the cringiest moments before landing on Netflix.
As posted by Twitter’s @andyheriaud, the technical challenge involves a taco with pico de gallo in it, pronounced like “pikodecalo.” Letting the tacos stay open in the middle of the table for ages, there’s no doubt they were soggy by the time the judges ate them.
Judge Prue Leith says, “For me, this is Mexican cooking on a plate.” Is it, Prue?
As one user tweeted, “As a Mexican person this personally hurts me 😭 el pico de gallo va en los molletes, no en los tacos 😂😭.”
Now, let’s go on. There are racist bits throughout the entire episode, with the hosts making “jokes” that are as offensive as they are unfunny.
As contestants struggle to make traditional dishes like tacos and tres leches, host Matt Lucas plays the maracas. Ha-ha.
Possibly even worse, the hosts thought it would be hilarious to ask “if Mexico is a real place,” with Lucas replying, “I think so, I think it’s like Xanadu,” A.K.A. a sort of mythical paradise.
Whether or not writers meant that part as a “compliment,” it only further exoticizes Mexico in a way that is wrong all over.
While there are tons of moments all over Twitter that have us scratching our heads about who on the production team approved this, there’s one moment we couldn’t help but laugh at— at least a little. One contestant pronounced “guacamole” like “glockymolo” and it’s no engraved in our brains forever.
One specific moment in the episode encapsulates the casual racism that is rampant throughout: judge Prue looking at a few cakes and saying, “They look Mexican, there are lots of bright colors.” Explaining that Mexico is “full of vibrancy, colors,” this clip epitomizes exactly what about this episode is just so, so wrong.
GGBO’s “Mexican week” involves production, hosts, and judges alike continuously misrepresenting and appropriating Mexican culture without basis or even proper research. The challenges, jokes, and commentary are all unbelievably stereotypical (A.K.A. a “Fiesta” cake with a mustache on it), making a caricature out of one of the richest, most complex cultures in the world. Sigh.
Still, this isn’t the first time “Bake Off” has committed a straight-to-TV baking hate crime: they’re “Japan Week” was also horrible, particularly because judge Paul Hollywood famously hates matcha and couldn’t stop wincing when trying almost every dish. One Twitter user recalled this, writing: “Wow I didn’t think I could be horrified more than Japan week of Great British Bake Off but wow we’re not even halfway through this episode of Mexican week.”
Other users just couldn’t stop reacting to the “Mexican Week” episode in disbelief and sometimes anger. One person tweeted a hilarious meme, describing “dreading” watching the show this week, while another joked about “Watching one of the Great British Bake Off contestants peel an avocado like a potato.”
As we all prepare to watch the full episode, another user predicted how “Mexican twitter [is] getting ready to drag The Great British Bake Off,” and yup— with good reason.
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