Burger King has been forced to apologise to Hindus after it showed a revered Indian goddess with a ‘forbidden’ Whopper burger.
The fast food chain quickly withdrew the advertisement from its stores in Spain after Hindus across the world complained at the denigration of their religion.
The advertisement shows a picture of Lakshmi, the Indian goddess of wealth, above one of the burgers, which are forbidden under Hindu religion.
The ‘Texican Whopper’ is an affront to Hindu sensitivities in its own right – it includes an all-beef patty, a beef chilli-con-carne slice, egg-based Cajun mayonnaise, all forbidden by strict Hindus. Some devotees would even be offended by the inclusion of onions which they believe inflame passions.
But it is the depiction of Lakshmi which has provoked widespread anger with its suggestion that a Hindu deity eats beef.
The goddess and the burger were placed under a slogan claiming ‘La merienda es sagrada’ – the snack is sacred.
Burger King quickly withdrew the posters and issued an apology after world Hindu leaders condemned the chain for its insensitivity.
“We are apologising because it wasn’t our intent to offend anyone,” said spokeswoman Denise T Wilson. “Burger King Corporation values and respects all of its guests as well as the communities we serve. This in-store advertisement was running to support only local promotion for three restaurants in Spain and was not intended to offend anyone.
“Out of respect for the Hindu community, the limited-time advertisement has been removed from the restaurants,” she added.
Earlier this year, Burger King offended Mexican officials with another advertisement for the ‘Texican Whopper’ which depicted a dwarf dressed as a wrestler draped in the Mexican flag.