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Shalmanese

Padma Lakshmi shills for Hardees Thickburger

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"Selling out" refers to the compromising of one's integrity, morality and principles in exchange for money, 'success' (however defined) or other personal gain

I think it can be argued that Padma, by shilling a fast-food burger, is compromising the "gourmand" persona she has nutured on Top Chef.

On the other hand Paris Hilton has no integrity, morality, or principles for which to compromise.

This comment is sooo not hot.

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http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/i...arls-jr-burger/

"I...started wolfing down bacon Western cheeseburgers [sic] after school at Carl's Jr. The sublimely pleasurable taste of bacon...was further enhanced by its mingling with the barbecue sauce, greedily licked off as it dripped down my teenage fingers," wrote Padma in her latest cookbook, "Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet," published in 2007.

"When we found out Padma was such a fan of the Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger, she was a natural fit to star in the television campaign for Hardee's new Western Bacon Thickburger," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Hardee's and Carl's Jr. restaurants. "In many ways, she was the perfect choice for our 'Young, Hungry, Guy' customers because she's beautiful, she's a culinary expert, she's beautiful, she's very smart, and she's beautiful. In the ads, she just tells the story of her long love affair with this classic burger, and she looks great doing it."

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It's only dissonant to your cognition if you lack the ability to frame input in appropriate context.

Lighten up and enjoy.

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I think it's one thing to shill for a product you have never used (or eaten in this case). If she can honestly stand there and say that she has fond memories of the burger growing up, then I have no problem with that.

I mean, even in the world of fine dining, there is considerable disagreement to what is the ultimate culinary experience. If Padma was shilling for Le Bernardin, would it be less egregious because it is Le Bernardin and not Carl Jr.'s/Hardee's? Not everyone likes the food or the experience at Le Bernardin. Just like not everyone likes the food or the experience at Hardee's.

Which is why choice exists.

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Padma's introducing a big new line of Indian-inspired in May. Look at the jewelry she's wearing in the video. It wouldn't surprise me if the jewelry she's wearing in the commercial is part of her new line. The buzz the burger commercial creates will do nothing but stir up public attention among non-Top Chef fans and help with her name recognition. Overall, this is a win/win situation for her: she's picking up a nice check for doing the commercial while creating a public buzz around her name just in advance of her jewelry launch. Overall, it sounds like a pretty smart business move to me.


Edited by Batard (log)

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Good grief. She is a TV personality not a Nobel prize winner. She was "sold out" from day one in the modeling business. Everything anybody does on TV shows is commercial and for money and by definition sold-out.

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It's only dissonant to your cognition if you lack the ability to frame input in appropriate context.

Lighten up and enjoy.

What's with the "lighten up" comments? You're the second one.

We're all a bunch of anonymous people talking about a relatively unknown person selling a crappy burger from a likewise crappy fast food restaurant. Who is taking anything on this thread so seriously that anyone needs to "lighten up?"

is anyone boycotting Hardee's?

is anyone tearing down their poster of Padma off the wall because they now know she eats Hardee's?

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Padma's introducing a big new line of Indian-inspired in May. Look at the jewelry she's wearing in the video. It wouldn't surprise me if the jewelry she's wearing in the commercial is part of her new line. The buzz the burger commercial creates will do nothing but stir up public attention among non-Top Chef fans and help with her name recognition. Overall, this is a win/win situation for her: she's picking up a nice check for doing the commercial while creating a public buzz around her name just in advance of her jewelry launch. Overall, it sounds like a pretty smart business move to me.

Agreed. To foodies it might provoke disdain, but she is definately making herself known to the great unwashed out there who don't know who she or top chef is.

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Besides, she can't be a "sell-out" for promoting a Hardee's burger unless she actually doesn't like a Hardee's burger. Can anyone here say for a fact that she doesn't like them? 'Cause I don't mind the occasional fast food (and I'm betting a lot of people in this thread don't either). I don't really see how that compromises my ability to enjoy other types of food. Maybe it's not better than dinner at Alinea but at that exact moment when I'm hungry and in a hurry, it's pretty tasty.

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It's only dissonant to your cognition if you lack the ability to frame input in appropriate context.

Lighten up and enjoy.

What's with the "lighten up" comments? You're the second one.

We're all a bunch of anonymous people talking about a relatively unknown person selling a crappy burger from a likewise crappy fast food restaurant. Who is taking anything on this thread so seriously that anyone needs to "lighten up?"

is anyone boycotting Hardee's?

is anyone tearing down their poster of Padma off the wall because they now know she eats Hardee's?

OFC sake. It's not obvious? That people even see _any_ kind of need to argue whether this spot corrupts any morals or ethics is ridiculous. How it even occurs to anybody to do so bewilders me.

People who do wonder if she is corrupting anything except my safe-at-work browsing are the ones I'm talking about.

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sell out / not a sell out

to each their own

from my perspective, I think this horse is sufficiently dead

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I think it can be argued that Padma, by shilling a fast-food burger, is compromising the "gourmand" persona she has nutured on Top Chef.

In HBO's Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven, the Maccioni family is seen eating fast food burgers and fries, I think McDonalds.

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She seems to have lifted her act wholesale from Nigella Lawson. I find it fairly disgusting.

Is there a problem with an enhanced act?

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What's up with the advert? Everyone has their "guilty" pleasures, right? I bet even top chefs have similar favourite non-gourmet foods - their local chippy's fish and chips, a cheap hotdog at a football match; maybe even something totally unlikely like heinz baked beans on toast. What's wrong with enjoying simple pleasures?

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http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/i...arls-jr-burger/
"I...started wolfing down bacon Western cheeseburgers [sic] after school at Carl's Jr. The sublimely pleasurable taste of bacon...was further enhanced by its mingling with the barbecue sauce, greedily licked off as it dripped down my teenage fingers," wrote Padma in her latest cookbook, "Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet," published in 2007.

"When we found out Padma was such a fan of the Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger, she was a natural fit to star in the television campaign for Hardee's new Western Bacon Thickburger," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Hardee's and Carl's Jr. restaurants. "In many ways, she was the perfect choice for our 'Young, Hungry, Guy' customers because she's beautiful, she's a culinary expert, she's beautiful, she's very smart, and she's beautiful. In the ads, she just tells the story of her long love affair with this classic burger, and she looks great doing it."

If these statements are true, and nobody has presented a reason to doubt them, then what Padma did by making this ad is exactly the opposite of "shilling" or "selling out." We should all be so lucky as to get paid to advocate for products we love. I'm still waiting for my call from the Munchos people.

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Video here.

Wow, I thought she had more class than that. I can't imagine her actually eating these things in real life and the ad doesn't make too much sense regardless.

Everyone on this site needs to wake up and stop putting their foodie heroes and favorite TV hosts on some sort of religious holier-than-thou pedestal. She isn't some saint to be worshipped, she's a TV entertainer whose main claim to fame and biggest career break is that she was once married to Salman Rushdie.

I laughed out loud watching the blatant cuts to cleavage, the licking tomato juice off the leg, the tongue lapping up the side of the bun, and the provocative pose that pulled the dress up her thighs. It has this site talking about the Hardee's Thickburger, so mission accomplished!

Hey, she's got a great bod, and someone offered her a bunch of money to apply it. She pulls it off a hell of a lot better than Rachel Ray does.

Anyone who is disappointed in her holds TV personalities in way too much esteem. They're just people looking for their next job, like all the rest of us.

Good on her, I say.

With all due respect...

edit :

And I'll wager even Saints Bourdain, Keller, Adria, Dufresne, Pepin, Ripert, and even Trotter have indulged in fast food at some point. The quality depends on the context of when it is eaten.


Edited by BuzzDraft (log)

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"Saint Bourdain" is a self - avowed (and admittedly ashamed) fan of Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese. I must admit I'm a fan as well!

To each his or her own. You go, Padma.

Steve

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Apparently no one is capable of being a sellout as long as you believe in the product you're selling.

Yeah commercialism!!

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Here we go again :)  It's the Tom Collichio/Diet Coke debate, round #2!

No way. Tom Colicchio is a respectable chef. Padma is...not. No need for further discussion.

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She seems to have lifted her act wholesale from Nigella Lawson. I find it fairly disgusting.

And again...Nigella is a damn fine cook whose cookbooks I use constantly, a hard worker, and - obviously - a domestic goddess! I don't for the life of me see how anyone can compare Nigella, who actually DOES SOMETHING and well, to someone whose mission in life is *apparently* to provide eye candy for a reality show.

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My point remains:

If she was served this on Top Chef, would she react the same?

It has nothing to do with being able to like a fatty greasy sandwich, a hot dog, a pizza pizza and Achatz or Keller.  Liking plebian food and high cuisine are not mutually exclusive.

I has to do with cognitive dissonace. You say one thing.  You say another. If the two don't match, people scratch their head.

You say that liking a hotdog and fine dining aren't mutually exclusive, but following the guidelines you're staking out here they are. If I say "coffee and donuts" from Keller are good and I say the coffee and donuts from my local diner are good, are you saying that I don't have integrity? I wouldn't expect a person to scratch his/her head when I said that, because it's pretty obvious that I don't mean they're "good" in the same way.

The problem is that Hardee's isn't good. I don't know shit about your local diner.

It must just be me. It appears I missed the numerous threads on eGullet that talk about how great fast food is.

No, heh heh, that's the "other place." :unsure:


Edited by violetfox (log)

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Apparently no one is capable of being a sellout as long as you believe in the product you're selling.

Yeah commercialism!!

You seem to believe that people who spend a career growing their public image shouldn't be able to make money off of this work. Well, I hate to tell you this, but that is how show business works. This is one of the various ways entertainers make money. And make no mistake, 90% of cookbook authors and television food show hosts are primarily entertainers. Julia Child may have done her show so she could evangelize to the masses, but Tom Colicchio, Tony Bourdain, Alton Brown, Emeril Legasse, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart, etc, etc, etc. . . they wrote their books and did their shows to make money. It's just like people who accuse an athlete of "selling out" when he switches teams to get a fat contract. Meanwhile, all the athletes know that it's always been all about maximizing their earnings while they can still play. Why do you think they fought for free agency? It's the fans who don't get it.

This is something that people don't often understand about this kind of business. As an opera singer, lots of people believe that everything my colleagues and I do is "ivory tower art stuff." And, sure, there is some of that. But 90% of what we do is business. It's no different for a writer or a restaurateur or an actor or a playwright or an artist or an athlete -- at least that's true for the ones who are successful. You think Picasso wasn't motivated by business concerns? Sure there are some rarified few who have attained such a high level of achievement, influence and demand that they are able to dictate terms and be "more artistic" (or whatever) in what they do. But they made their way into that position by leveraging their talent and hard work with lots and lots of business savvy.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

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Apparently no one is capable of being a sellout as long as you believe in the product you're selling.

Yeah commercialism!!

You seem to believe that people who spend a career growing their public image shouldn't be able to make money off of this work. Well, I hate to tell you this, but that is how show business works. This is one of the various ways entertainers make money. And make no mistake, 90% of cookbook authors and television food show hosts are primarily entertainers. Julia Child may have done her show so she could evangelize to the masses, but Tom Colicchio, Tony Bourdain, Alton Brown, Emeril Legasse, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart, etc, etc, etc. . . they wrote their books and did their shows to make money. It's just like people who accuse an athlete of "selling out" when he switches teams to get a fat contract. Meanwhile, all the athletes know that it's always been all about maximizing their earnings while they can still play. Why do you think they fought for free agency? It's the fans who don't get it.

This is something that people don't often understand about this kind of business. As an opera singer, lots of people believe that everything my colleagues and I do is "ivory tower art stuff." And, sure, there is some of that. But 90% of what we do is business. It's no different for a writer or a restaurateur or an actor or a playwright or an artist or an athlete -- at least that's true for the ones who are successful. You think Picasso wasn't motivated by business concerns? Sure there are some rarified few who have attained such a high level of achievement, influence and demand that they are able to dictate terms and be "more artistic" (or whatever) in what they do. But they made their way into that position by leveraging their talent and hard work with lots and lots of business savvy.

But wait a minute! On the last page, you said:

"Are you kidding?! We're not talking about Alice Waters here. Padma Lakshmi is a model-turned-actress-turned-cookbook writer-turned television personality. What does she have to "sell out"? I mean, I'm not saying she's a horrible person or whatever. But she makes her living as a media figure. Period. Meanwhile, reminding everyone that she's super-hot is not a bad strategic move. I can't say that I believe she eats a lot of gigantic bacon cheeseburgers and keeps that figure, but that's another subject.

I guess Paris Hilton is selling out too."

I guess that I'm confused. I don't believe that anyone here has suggested that everyone who cooks and writes books should do it solely for the love of it, and should enjoy being impoverished.

Are we seriously comparing Padma with COOKS? With Alice Waters, Tom Colicchio, Tony Bourdain, et al? You JUST said that we shouldn't do that!

I'd be surprised if you can demonstrate how Padma has earned her "way into that position by leveraging [her] talent and hard work with lots and lots of business savvy."

What talent? What hard work?

How can what she does compare to what Alice Waters does and continues to do, to what any of the cooks you mentioned have done and continue to do?

And, for what it's worth, I also completely disagree with the comparison between Padma, who is doing something quasi-productive at Top Chef (ostensibly helping young chefs gain visibility), however little of her doing it may be, with Paris Hilton, who has never done a thing except exploit herself and everyone around her for money that she hardly needs in the grossest possible way. Bizarre!

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