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Fried chicken restaurant slammed for 'racist' Notorious BIG and Aunt Jemima posters

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By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

February 10, 2016 | 4 min read

A fried chicken restaurant has been criticised for displaying posters that perpetuate racist stereotypes of African American people.

FAT Fried and Tasty restaurant

FAT Fried and Tasty restaurant

The FAT Fried and Tasty restaurant in Melbourne, Australia has been criticised across social media for its decision to use posters in the interior of its shop of deceased US rapper Notorious BIG – also known as Biggie Smalls – eating fried chicken.

The store also features a a vintage Aunt Jemima advertisement. These were first used in the 1880s and faced controversy in later years for perpetuating racist stereotypes.

The restaurant describes itself as “doing fried chicken at its best, serving old school southern style fried chicken, buttermilk waffles, burgers and beer”.

Australian stand-up comedian Aamer Rahman brought the questionable posters into the public consciousness when he flagged up the signage to his 27,896 Facebook followers in a post saying: “Melbourne hipsters pay tribute to a dead black artist by opening a Biggie Smalls themed fried chicken restaurant, The Notorious F.A.T, complete with photoshopped mural of Biggie holding a fried chicken drumstick, Aunt Jemima wallpaper, and pictures of white families with guns.

“You cannot make this stuff up.”

Since then the FAT Fried and Tasty restaurant has received a number of angry messages from the public via social media, including one post on its Facebook page which read: “How did you think this theme was appropriate?” while another read: “The imagery in your shop is racist and insulting”.

Twitter users also voiced their opinions in response to Rahman's tweet:

One of the restaurant's co-owners, who did not want to be named, told Guardian Australia that people were being unreasonable in the way they were taking issue with the posters.

“In terms of the way some people have gone about it, they’ve just trolled our Facebook and social media with no regards for us as a small business, and without hearing our explanation or our side of the story,” he said.

“We by no means were trying to be racist, we were merely showing Biggie Smalls as a figure and how much we love him.”

He added that the Aunt Jemima poster was: "showing people how far we’ve come since then.”

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