Anthony Bourdain is not someone you want as an enemy. The outspoken No Reservations host recently took to Twitter and Tumblr to express his anger at Travel Channel's re-editing of his show to imply that he was endorsing Cadillac.
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In the post titled "Fighting Mad," Bourdain explains that he understands the obstacles of advertising in a DVR culture, but that he has gone to great lengths to avoid brand integration on No Reservations. "A while back, I agreed to use a credit card on a limited number of episodes of my show," the host says. "The network made money off the deal. It helped assure me and my production company the budget we wanted. And I got paid. My fans were not pleased, however. ... People felt betrayed. As a result, I became even more careful and even more reluctant to do them."
This is why Travel Channel's post-production product placement came as such a betrayal for Bourdain. "If I make an agreement—especially about something as personal as the use of my name and image, I expect that agreement will be honored," Bourdain writes. "So it came as a shock and a disappointment to turn on the TV for the last two episodes of my show, and see that someone had taken footage that me and my creative team had shot for my show, cut it up and edited it together with scenes of a new Cadillac driving through the forest. Scenes of me, my face, and with my voice, were edited in such a way as to suggest that I might be driving that Cadillac."
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Bourdain's eloquent Tumblr explanation is a far cry from his initial reaction on Twitter. The chef went on a tweeting rampage, which included such choice statements as, "There's a dead prostitute in the trunk of my #Cadillac" and "When a #travelchannel exec runs over a hobo in a #Cadillac, I'm told they can barely tell! #goodsuspension".
And though Bourdain claims he will never drive a Caddy now, he adds that his beef is with Travel Channel and not the car manufacturer: "I have no problem with Cadillac, by the way," Bourdain writes.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the Travel Channel said: "We've enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Tony and his production team, but his decision to make further remarks on this matter in the public domain is unfortunate."
Bourdain and Travel Channel's relationship ended with the Nov. 5 series finale of No Reservations. The chef will join CNN early next year to host a new weekend program covering food and travel.
Do you agree with Bourdain and the way he handled the situation?