Newfoundlanders had been looking forward to seeing this weekend’s episode of “Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown” that focuses on the globe-trotting celebrity chef’s visit to Canada’s easternmost province — until a tweet from the show’s Twitter account led to controversy by using a term considered to be derogatory.
As the National Post reports, Newfoundlanders are up in arms over a tweet from the show’s official Twitter account that used the word “Newfie,” an insenstivie term that most Newfoundlanders find offensive, its origins stemming from old tasteless jokes characterizing Newfoundlanders as lazy and unintelligent.
The tweet — which has since been deleted — linked to an article featuring Newfoundland-related books and local slang, with the caption reading: “Embrace the Newfies as they are.”
After the tweet resulted in a flurry of negative tweets calling out the use of the word “Newfie,” the Post spoke with James Baker of McMaster University, who recently published a research paper detailing the history of the term.
“When you have someone who’s not a Newfoundlander [who] uses it, people tend to pay much more attention to it, especially someone as famous as Anthony Bourdain,” Baker told the newspaper.
While Newfoundlanders and savvy Canadians from other parts of the country already know about the negative connotations associated with the word, Baker contends that the average American would be unlikely to realize the term would offend.
However, he believes there’s still a big upside from the province being featured on Bourdain’s popular TV travelogue. “Anything that paints the province in a positive light is a great opportunity for tourism,” he adds.
While the tweet may have garnered a negative response, it’s unlikely that will be the case when the episode airs on Sunday, May 13 on CNN. While shooting the episode, Bourdain shared his impressions of Newfoundland on Instagram: