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‘Uncharted’ Viewers Are Mad as Hell About Gordon Ramsay Shooting a Goat

A moment from the most recent episode of the National Geographic show inspired outrage

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Human exclamation point Gordon Ramsay is drawing ire from viewers of his new National Geographic series Uncharted over a scene where the chef shoots and kills a goat.

The scene in question takes place on a hillside in rural New Zealand, where Ramsay and a local hunter named Dan Russell go out in search of some protein for a feast that the host is preparing with chef Monique Fiso. “Introduced to New Zealand, in the 18th century, goats are an invasive species and with no natural predators; they’ve caused untold damage to native vegetation,” Ramsay explains via narration. “The Maori have always sought to live in harmony with their environment. Hunting invasive species may be one way for modern-day Kiwis to help redress the balance.” As they approach a crest where goats are grazing, Russell tells Ramsay that they’re considered “a real pest” by the locals, and that “15 years ago they were right out of control.” Once they spot a big goat across the hillside, Ramsay kneels down and makes his shot.

National Geographic/Uncharted

The scene includes no blood, guts, or footage of the animal suffering. Ramsay is also so far away from the goat that he and Russell have to actually hike across the hillside to go and retrieve their kill. And the next time the goat appears, it’s already been broken down into tidy little cuts of meat for the feast, like you might find at a boutique butcher shop. As far as animal killing scenes go, this one is completely sanitized, but that didn’t stop viewers from taking Twitter to complain about Gordon killing the cute animal with his gun.

Especially considering that so many hours of food TV are devoted to cooking and eating dead animals — and the fact that Ramsay was accompanied by a local hunter who explained the community’s relationship to the wildlife — the anger over this scene seems a bit misplaced. But this is not the first time a celebrity chef has caught heat for an animal killing scene on a major TV show: In 2015, animal rights activists launched an online campaign to get Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown removed from the CNN lineup over claims that it was glorifying “the savage, brutal suffering, and slaughter of animals.” CNN never responded to these claims, and the show kept chugging along and winning all sorts of awards until the tragic death of its star three years later.

Strangely enough. Ramsay was ridiculed by some of his UK fans three years ago over a hunting scene on his series The F-Word that showed the chef freezing up and refusing to pull the trigger when he got a deer in his sights. Ramsay typically inspires strong reactions from TV audiences, but never more so, it seems, than when he’s holding a gun and pointing it at an animal.

Neither Ramsay nor National Geographic have addressed the backlash yet, and they probably won’t, especially since Uncharted — a conceptually problematic show that doesn’t add anything to the culinary travel genre, by the way — has already been green lit for a second season.

‘Thoughtless and cruel’: Gordon Ramsay sparks outrage on new TV show [News.au]
The Problem With Gordon Ramsay’s New Travel Show Is Gordon Ramsay [E]

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