For nine seasons, caustic New Yorker Anthony Bourdain hosted the Travel Channel's "No Reservations," a show about traveling the world and eating the weird foods that people cook there. It all came to end Nov. 5 with a series finale set in Brooklyn, at which time Bourdain unleashed a chain of harsh tweets protesting the channel's decision to include shots of Cadillac cars in the show's promos. For example:
If you blow your load on a #cadillac dashboard it wipes clean off!— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) November 6, 2012
There's a dead prostitute in the trunk of my #Cadillac— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) November 6, 2012
Bourdain explained himself Monday in Tumblr post called "Fighting Mad," saying that the Travel Channel had included Cadillac product placement in episodes of "No Reservations" without his consent [beware of expletives]:
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. That, at least, I was very likely IN that Cadillac—and that if nothing else, I sure as shit was endorsing Cadillac as the vehicle of choice for my show. All this following seamlessly from the actual show so you were halfway through the damn thing before you even realized it was a commercial.
Bourdain emphasized that he had an agreement with the Travel Channel not to participate in such endorsements:
[The network and I] had both agreed to terms where my name or image was never to be used to either endorse, or imply use of a product without my specific agreement. It was clearly expressed in writing, clearly understood and agreed to that I would not use or mention any products in my show and my name and image would not be used in connection with any products in return for anything of value or any other consideration without my specific agreement.
Authenticity is an important element to Bourdain's public persona; the host has often railed against the supposed artificiality of modern culinary personalities like Rachel Ray and Emeril Lagasse. Explains Jalopnik's Matt Hardigree:
Anthony Bourdain is to food what Martin Luther was to Catholicism. Technically, he's an insider, but he disdains the popular and false idols (Paula Deen/Guy Fieri) and tries to bring what seemed sacred and exceptional to the masses.
Though he's still pretty angry at the Travel Channel, Bourdain did issue an apology to makers of Cadillac cars saying, "I apologize to the guys on the production line at Cadillac, for finding the thing YOU make, and I have no doubt, are very proud of, in the middle of a rancorous disagreement."