An Australian restaurant owner is at the center of a political scandal after a fundraising event menu he made that included sexist jokes about the country's prime minister was posted to social media.
Joe Richards is the owner of R&R Cafe Bar in Brisbane, Australia, and he has claimed that the offensive menu in question was meant to be a private joke -- until a staff member put it on Facebook, The Australian reports.
One of the jokes on the “mock menu,” as Richards described it, named a dish after Prime Minister Julia Gillard and described it as “Kentucky fried quail” with “Small Breasts, Huge Thighs, and a Big Red Box.”
— David Carter (@chef09876) June 11, 2013
Richards asserted that he came up with what he called a “light-hearted joke” in advance of a fundraising dinner hosted by Australia’s center-right Liberal party, but he didn’t actually show the menu to guests.
Still, the document has sparked considerable tension between the Liberal party and Gillard’s left-leaning Labor party. The prime minister called the menu “sexist and offensive” and typical of the Liberal party’s “pattern of behavior.”
Members of the opposition Liberal party have denied ever seeing the menu at the event, but have said they are "deeply apologetic," according to ABC.
Inside jokes at restaurants seem to have a way of leaking out, and it’s rarely to the establishments' benefit. A Brooklyn, N.Y., restaurant found itself in trouble for the offensive names of its menu items, while a Florida seafood joint was roundly criticized for using racial slurs on its menus, according to the New York Daily News.