The new season of No Reservations began last night, and Tony Bourdain is already in trouble — but over an episode from last season. Some Jamaicans have taken umbrage over Bourdain’s Imus-like use of the word “bitches” when describing a dance-hall concert: “Like reggaetón, its mutant cousin, dance-hall is the hard-core beat behind lyrics concerning, for the most part, acquiring possessions, getting respect on the street, beating down perceived enemies, and enjoying the physical charms of varied, if not multitudinous, bitches.” The women of Jamaica were not amused. “I am offended as a woman,” reggae artist Nadine Sutherland told CaribWorldNews. The backlash is growing, the online news service reports: “Other observers say that when Bourdain, a white, privileged man, uses the word it takes on a connotation different from its use by the dancehall artist. ‘I don’t blame dancehall for Anthony Bourdain’s comments,’ said female hip-hop sensation Stahhr. ‘It’s not like he doesn’t have any common sense.’” The Travel Channel, which airs No Reservations, hasn’t responded with the inevitable rote apology yet, but we can’t wait to hear what Bourdain has to say about his privilege and lack of common sense.
Tony Bourdain: now offending Jamaicans. Photo: Getty Images