The makers of the blatantly racist cell phone game Dirty Chinese Restaurant have responded to the backlash over their product by canceling its release. A trailer for the game, which made the rounds online last week, showed a chef chasing cats to serve as “unsavoury” food at a grimy restaurant, and sometimes toiling at “sweatshop levels” while evading immigration officers.
The furor over the game started last week when the trailer caught the attention of a community activist named Karlin Chan, who shared information about the release on his Twitter feed. Word of the game eventually caught the attention of New York Rep. Grace Meng, who wrote a tirade against it on Facebook, noting: “This game uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American.”
The company that created the game, Big-O-Tree (say it out loud), originally defended the release as “mainly satire,“ but now the group is changing its tune. Big-O-Tree published a statement on its homepage, which reads, in part:
After careful consideration and taking the time to listen to the publics opinion we have decided it’s not in anyone’s best interest to release Dirty Chinese Restaurant. We would like to make a sincere and formal apology to the Chinese community and wish to assure them that this game was not created with an intentional interest of inflicting harm or malice against Chinese culture.
Big-O-Tree also promises to remove all marketing materials from the game from social media. NBC News points out that even if the company had intended to release the game, it likely would not have met Google and Apple’s guidelines, which prohibit racist material like this.