RA Sushi in Huntington Beach is a nightspot popular with the young crowd. Most of the regulars probably weren't alive when Full Metal Jacket came out in 1987, which may explain why the restaurant's tasteless promotion quoting the film lasted for nearly a month before anyone cried foul.
It started on Facebook, April 13, when RA Sushi Huntington Beach posted a picture of a cute little fish along with this message:
"Edamame-steamed soybeans dusted with salt-eat the pea, not the pod. Want an order for free? Join us at RA HB and mention 'Me Luv u Long Time' to your server for a complimentary dish of edamame."
The popular Gawker-owned blog Jezebel.com picked up on the unpalatable undertones yesterday with a post that offered this analysis:
"Of course, saying 'Me love you long time' (a line originally uttered by a Vietnamese prostitute in Full Metal Jacket) requires patrons to a) copy a racist caricature, b) copy a racist caricature of a person from Vietnam, a country not necessarily known for its sushi, and c) totally humiliate themselves."
RA Sushi HB was back on Facebook the same day offering an apology to anyone offended by the promotion, though a spokesperson from the PR firm representing RA Sushi, Beach House PR, said the apology was the result of disapproving Facebook comments, not the Jezebel post.
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RA Sushi's Facebook apology added:
"[The promotion] was not meant to promote or perpetuate stereotypes and it does not reflect our views as a company. We sincerely apologize for not taking into consideration the many interpretations of this phrase and thank you for bringing it to our attention."
Beach House PR explained to the Weekly that the use of the quip was meant to be lighthearted and humorous, as inspired by 40-Year-Old Virgin and Bruce Almighty, two movies since Full Metal Jacket that have found the phrase to be acceptable joke fodder.
"Is this special still happening?," reads the last comment under RA Sushi's Facebook apology, "because I want to go and get some free edaname [sic] while wearing my "I WILL NOT LOVE YOU LONG TIME" t-shirt..."