The internet is torn after 'heartbreaking' Anthony Bourdain commercial airs during the Emmys
Back at the outset of summer, the food world lost one of its biggest and brightest lights in tragic circumstances. Anthony Bourdain, television personality and host of the CNN show Parts Unknown, was found dead in a hotel room in France, during a shoot for an episode of his show.
A toxicology report revealed that despite the 61-year-old's struggles with addiction in the past, there were no harmful substances in his body at the time of his passing, and tributes have since poured in for the personality, from all corners of the show business world. But time and tide wait for no man, and although we grieved, we slowly began to move on.
CNN announced that the final season of Parts Unknown would air this year, and earlier this month, the Creative Arts Emmy Awards said goodbye to Bourdain in their own way, posthumously awarding Bourdain with a series of accolades. But a commercial that aired during the Emmys has people torn - wondering if it's the tribute that Anthony Bourdain deserved upon his death.
Before all that, though, the Emmys got to say goodbye to Bourdain properly with an 'in memoriam' tribute. Top Chef judge and executive producer Tom Colicchio posted the above photo to Instagram with the simple caption: "missing you." Remembering his dear friend shortly after his death on June 8, Colicchio said Bourdain still had many stories to tell.
"He was really a writer… He was thoughtful and found a way to fit into the food world when he no longer wanted to cook. I feel that the best was yet to come and now those stories aren't going to be told."
But less than an hour after that tribute montage, some Emmy viewers were extremely unhappy with a commercial from scotch manufacturer Balvenie, whose 30-second ad featured Bourdain prominently.
"[It's] not always a great idea to follow your passion if you’re passionate about something you’ll never be good at," says Bourdain in the commercial, but added that we should follow our passion, but only if "you can do something unique that will shock and astound and terrify people and bewitch them".
Some people were unhappy, viewing the commercial as using a beloved figure's death as a shameless plug for their whiskey, and they said about as much on Twitter.
Calling the commercial "tone-deaf", Eater noted that Bourdain had become a spokesperson for the whiskey brand three years ago, speaking sporadically in online-only videos under the banner "Raw Craft". In the description for the YouTube video it does indicate that the video was made from old Raw Craft videos.
Some outlets don't agree about the intent of the commercial, however. Calling the ad "heart-breaking", they said that Bourdain "speaks emotionally about being passionate about one's craft". It's not entirely clear the intent of the commercial in question, but considering its placing during the Emmys after a very emotional tribute earlier in the awards show, you can certainly understand why people are upset.