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The celebrity chef and Parts Unknown host, who committed suicide in June, won posthumous Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program and Outstanding Informational Series or Special for his work on the acclaimed CNN travel show. He was also featured during the live telecast’s “In Memoriam” segment, much to the delight of viewers. But things went too far when Bourdain was featured in a commercial for the Balvenie, at least according to many on Twitter.
The Scotch whisky company aired an ad “honoring” Bourdain, about an hour after he was featured in the “In Memoriam” portion of the show. The 30-second spot features the late TV host talking about “following your passion.”
“If you feel in your heart, if you know, if you have reason to believe that you can be awesome at something, that you can do something unique that will shock, and astound, and terrify people and bewitch them — do that,” Bourdain says over a montage of him visiting with different artisans. (Of course, he is also seen drinking some Scotch whisky.)
The commercial ends with the company writing the following message to Bourdain: “And so you did. We’re proud to have shared the journey.”
The Kitchen Confidential author had partnered with the Scotch whisky brand since 2015, one of his few commercial endorsements, but the posthumous advertisement still didn’t sit well with many viewers. One person wrote, “a scotch brand used videos of anthony bourdain, beloved and recently dead from suicide with a long and well-known history of substance abuse, in a f***ing commercial????” Many people concurred:
Yoooooooooooo! That Balvenie commercial was in the POOREST of taste. I know Anthony Bourdain didn’t die from alcohol but MAYBE don’t feature someone that struggled with and recently died from addiction in your whiskey commercial
— cbr™️ (@cbenjaminrucker) September 18, 2018
soooo…… why would they posthumously use Anthony Bourdain for an alcohol commercial… when he dealt w alcoholism and depression his whole life…
— emoly (@soupdrinker) September 18, 2018
I feel depressed sometimes. Maybe I should try that scotch the ghost of Anthony Bourdain just sold me.
— Mike Gibbons (@GibbonsTime) September 18, 2018
Super don’t agree with @BalvenieUS using Anthony Bourdain to sell more whiskey. Really bad choice. Almost unethical.
— Jessi Hamilton (@pensivegirl) September 18, 2018
So a company that sells an addictive product just did a tribute ad to Anthony Bourdain.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) September 18, 2018
tony bourdain is dead
so drink up
the balvenie, handcrafted scotch whiskey from banffshire
— (((Zach Linder))) (@zachlinder) September 18, 2018
In another commercial act of disrespect for the dead, The Balvenie ran an Anthony Bourdain ad during the Emmys https://t.co/bJ2uscRH0V FastCompany
— cakeslovenian77 (@cakeslovenian72) September 18, 2018
I was very moved by what Anthony Bourdain said in that ad but I hate that they literally commercialized it
— Versha Sharma (@versharma) September 18, 2018
— Zach Cusson (@zcusson) September 18, 2018
I never want to see that Anthony Bourdain scotch commercial again. #Emmys
— Carmél Carrillo (@CarmelCarrillo) September 18, 2018
— loulaz (@loulaz) September 18, 2018
There were still a few people who enjoyed it.
That whiskey commercial with Anthony Bourdain made me weep!
— Bee (@beekasurinen) September 18, 2018
— Maria Wyatt Uhl (@MariaWyattUhl) September 18, 2018
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