Bourdain’s Crew Play Big Brother

By Karen

I just honored a polite request to delete a previous post entitled “Bourdain’s Smoking in the Philippines” by the nephew of a restaurant owner who will apparently be featured in an upcoming episode of No Reservations. The nephew doesn’t want to inadvertently cause any problems for his uncle. He was asked by the NR production people to take down his own post and photos of Bourdain’s visit because they felt it pre-empted the content of the episode.

They apparently have no use for bloggers generating some free “advance buzz” on future episodes.

To explain the title of my original post, I don’t think I’m talking out of school to restate that it sprang from earlier reports I had read of Bourdain “allegedly” consuming beer and smoking, even though he says he quit smoking months ago. We’ve seen him play that scene many times before in many countries.

Cats Working has never had any indication that Bourdain is aware of this blog, but we’ve now felt the long arms of his peeps reaching out vicariously to muzzle us.

It’s a first, and I hope a last. Along with the rest of the market, Bourdain’s stock just dropped a few points with us.


17 Responses to Bourdain’s Crew Play Big Brother

  1. annonymous says:

    I can understand the show’s concern though as some of the blog entries were giving out a lot of information…and he does have a following in the big cities in the Philippines…which may lead to some production/filming delays if tony were to accommodate the onlookers and fans. The entries and stories will probably come out again once the episode has aired…I imagine a discussion on what ended up on the cutting room floor and what got edited out. Btw, I’m the same one that commented on your deleted entry.

  2. sh*tstarter says:

    That sucks. I’ve been looking at your blog a long time catsworking. Most of the fun of Bourdain watching is the blogs. Too bad Bourdain’s “people” have decided to be a pain in the ass.

  3. catsworking says:

    This is the first time I’ve been censored and I’ll admit it doesn’t sit well with me. I suppose I could be a jerk and insist on my First Amendment rights, but it’s more important to me not to offend nice people in the Philippines who inadvertently provided me with the information.

    Since I don’t have any inside track to Bourdain, everything reported here comes from other sources, either blogs, his books, his shows, interviews, or other published material, and I will continue to do so, since that seems to be what readers want.

    However, I’ll be more circumspect about giving his show any free advance publicity, since they obviously don’t want it.

    If he’s being mobbed everywhere he goes in the Philippines, I can understand them wanting to keep his whereabouts under wraps. However, in my defense, I DIDN’T mention the name of the hotel where he’s staying in Manila. It’s known on the Net.

    I also found the photo I deleted, as well as another one taken of Tony and a fan in the airport, on a Filipino forum, I think his people are going to find that trying to keep news of Bourdain off the Internet is like killing cockroaches. No matter how many you get, there are always more.

  4. Bob says:

    Well I guess you cats hit the radar. I doubt that Tony has seen this yet but you know business.

    Funny how that happens Do you continue to bring in the Borurdain buzz. Or do you drop it all together???

    Its your blog, Its your choice

  5. annonymous says:

    I think the nephew of the restaurant owner was just being careful. I don’t think that particular photograph you posted would have been an issue with the production staff. I did manage to see the nephew’s blog before the other pictures were taken down, and some of the pictures were of the food being served at the filming. I suspect that might have been the show’s concern. There are entries in Tony’s blog already from Filipino fans thanking him for taking the time to have his picture taken with them — so its probably not the pictures per se but of the content of some of the pictures that might be the issue.

  6. voltaire says:

    good point by anonymous about the nephew just being careful… as for NR’s crew not wanting details posted, that’s SOP even here in the philippines for production — sort of keeping things a mystery so people will want to watch.

  7. catsworking says:

    I’ve tried to make sure there’s never been anything on Cats Working that could be construed as “talking out of school” and I do intend to keep reporting on anything interesting I turn up about Bourdain. He’s a public figure, I’m a fan, and I don’t mind sharing my research with my readers. Tony probably had nothing to do with the requests to delete blog posts, but he has to go along with his production crew’s decisions. There were several blogs involved, and mine wasn’t one of the ones the Bourdain people directly contacted.

    From everything I read before it was deleted, the Filipinos were delighted and very excited to have him there, so naturally they didn’t want to do anything to leave a bad taste in his mouth (pardon the pun) and swiftly took down their blog posts when asked.

    As I’ve said before, I found the name of the hotel where he’s staying in Manila, and I’ve even found his NYC address on the Internet. Even though that information is readily available if you look in the right places, I choose not to publish it because the last thing I would want to do is give anyone the means to intrude on his privacy.

    But as for tidbits about the shooting of a TV show that will be shown worldwide? I think they’re fair game, and I think letting bloggers put teasers out there only drums up interest in the whole episode, which the producers should recognize as a good thing.

    I’ve never been into posting photos of the food he eats, but I agree that it could have been the source of concern.

  8. MorganLF says:

    Geez miss a day miss a whole lot! At least it confirms this blog is on the radar for many of his fans and hopefully Tony himself. As an outlet for those of us who find Tony irresistable and amusing this site is a great source of benign amusement and I for one hope you keep the tidbits coming!

  9. catsworking says:

    There’s never a dull moment at Cats Working!

    I assume the restaurateur’s nephew Googled Bourdain in the Philippines and this blog came up. He then tracked me down through my book’s Web site. He was really very sweet about asking me to take down the post, so I couldn’t very well refuse.

    Bourdain’s fans are definitely stopping by here because “Ottavia: Found” continues to be #1 for hits even though it’s months old. Nancy comes in a close second. And Tatiana the tiger is third. Go figure. At least that keeps the cats happy.

    Never fear, Morgan, I still plan to share whatever bits about Bourdain I can find, nasty or not.

  10. catsworking says:

    If anybody on Bourdain’s team is reading and thinks Cats Working is rough on him, check out this post on One Mans Journey. I found when he linked here. He’s got more than one bone to pick with Bourdain and makes my stuff look like Marshmallow Fluff.

  11. marylou says:

    Whoah! That puffy-faced Bourdain picture is BRUTAL!

  12. catsworking says:

    He does seem to be aging fast, but his on-the-go lifestyle was bound to catch up with him sooner or later.

    Even bloated, he’s still got a certain je ne sais quoi. 😉

  13. Mark Blei says:

    Hey I noticed your post….about my post. Is that grammatically correct? The thing is I was a really huge Bourdain fan.

    What shocked me is that a guy who has been through so much can’t see his way to if not openly discussing his personal feelings to at the very least realize that a public figure advocating violence or second class treatment of anyone can lead to trouble.

    He wrote his books about the restaurant/kitchen lifestyle because he felt that it was misunderstood and represented something more than what we might think of it. He glorified it and glamorized it with all its pimples and blackheads and inappropriate sexism said, “Look, you might think it’s unacceptable for someone to act like this but let me show you what it’s like to walk in my shoes and then tell me if you agree.”

    You might think that a guy like that would say, “Before I open my mouth about beating up kids, I should understand this better. It’s like people of weight don’t deserve any of the same presumptions of ‘not understanding how someone could do X.'”

    So we are as a society OK with saying that we can’t understand what it’s like to have a spouse that has drug problem, and we shouldn’t make assumptions on people who say have kleptomania ..they’re not criminals, they have an illness but people of weight aren’t even given that. Plus this guy who make shis living talking about how lame life is when you stick to a healthy low-fat diet and who runs a show that is as I said food porn, takes a huge dump on people who like to eat and then makes sure that it gets it’s own little show just for that. Then this same guy opens up with fat kids should be picked on in school and if more of them were, society would be better.

    What he said and did is just in no way OK and if he had said that what we need in a society is to beat up Jews or Latinos or blacks he would have no career. I want to know what’s different about saying we should beat up and pick on fat kids.

    Doesn’t a guy who has three best selling books and two hit TV shows get that people listen to him and take him seriously?

    I love him but it’s unforgivable.

  14. catsworking says:

    Mark, you made all good points and I thought your posting about this was excellent.

    I’ve seen the whole uncut scene where Bourdain and Nugent were discussing fat people, and I think it was more a matter of Bourdain trying to impress Nugent by agreeing with him than anything. Yes, Tony said some unforgivably rude and cruel things that never should have come out of his mouth. At some point, at some event, during a Q&A someone is going to call him on it and he’s going to be forced to eat crow, be very embarrassed, and apologize because he’s got no justification.

    And I’m sure he WILL eventually apologize for those remarks.

    He says terrible things about vegans, too, but they’re not being treated like second-class citizens by society, facing discrimination every waking moment, so it’s different. I think he just likes to get a rise out of them to stir up controversy and keep his name out there.

    To answer your last question, no, I don’t think he fully realizes the extent to which people soak in what he says. He probably thinks of himself as this wise guy character people have come to expect, and so keeps trying to shock to keep his career going.

  15. Mark Blei says:

    Cats: I appreciate what you said though IMHO he won’t apologize and if he does get it on a Q&A and does say something ,he won’t do it on TV .

    There’s allot of things people do to help their career . I don’t really think Anthony Bourdain needs to create controversy to help his ..I think he’s career is doing fine and I doubt that rationally he would want to be known for hate speech.

    No, I have to say that by the way he said this and given his past comments of a similar nature . I believe he means this very much.

    What I can’t get honestly is that if it’s no longer permissible to ridicule or openly deride an ethnicity or a handicap in todays society ,why is it still permissible and how is it not hate speech when someone makes a public statement advocating bullying or picking on or hurting physically or emotionally anyone.

    I’m asking this rhetorically becuase I don’t expect you to have an answer and you’re certainly not guilty of anything but since we are on the subject I often wonder why is it still ok to make fun of fat people on TV or anywhere.

    If I sat with all my white friend in a room with only white people and made a joke or an suggested violence at the expense of black people- none of my friends would talk to me ever again and I would expect to be and would have been thrown out of that room.

    Why when we are alone then, or when we are speaking in public or when on a TV show is it ok as a society to say the same thing about large people and it’s perfectly ok?

    I don’t expect peoples feelings to change. People hate fat’s a fact,not everyone, but people have a real disgust about it and I don’t even want to try and change that . I just want it not to be ok to talk about it on TV

    Why is Amos and Andy no longer ok to show on TV , why is Song of the South the only movie never released by Disney even though collectors of Disney merchandise would pay dearly for it.

    Because given todays standards it would be inappropriate and damaging to us as a society. All of us would be lessened by it.

    So why is it ok to put Monica in the fat suit on Friends?

    I just think that if the US can raise such a fury over a half second shot of Janet Jacksons nipple why the people over at the Travel Channel didn’t say.

    “You can’t say that you advocate kids getting picked on for any reason.”

    If he had said that about an autistic kid or a kid born into drug abuse there would be national outrage.

    Somehow we have given a pass to the people who spout hate speech or ridicule fat people .

    I used to weigh near 400 lbs and now I weigh almost 180. I’ve been on both sides of the coin and i have to tell you that now that I’m a thin person I only hear it more often then I did when I was overweight. Probably becuase when I weighed 400 lbs they were terrified that I would hurt them.

    I’ve even been unintentionally guilty of it myself. I have written hundreds of humorous stories about things that have happened in my life. One time I was set up with an extremely obese blind date who acted completely inappropriately.

    Her obesity was just the least part of why that date went horribly wrong and the only way the obesity fit into the humor was from the point of view of it was a nearly 500 lb woman on a date with a 400 lb guy completely and utterly pretending that she was not overweight at all even when she could not fit into my car.

    Everything else about that story was about her inappropriate social behavior and my trying to cope with it and still be a gentleman.

    It’s not my best work, I have written much funnier and much better but it is by far the most popular thing I’ve ever written and it’s only refereed to as the story about the fat girl.

    When I took the story down I had people asking permission to mirror it, to host it to rewrite it and even to code the web-page at no cost and I still get mail about it and it’s still the most popular thing I’ve ever written and is reposted and re-hosted in so many different places that I don;t even bother to take it down or ask people to remove it anymore. And if someone else is going to get adsense dollars off one of my mediocre works then I suppose I should get it first. At least I can explain why I wrote it and what I was thinking and how I feel if I control the story

    I just wonder when does it go too far? Twice in the last year and as a thin man I have been on flights where they tried to evict an overweight person from a flight and I really do understand they they have that rule and why it really is unfair for someone to have to be squished during a long flight. But during both of those events I told the airline people that I had no problem at all with sitting next to them.

    Once was a couple who were being asked to buy extra seats because they were seated in a row of three when I was the third . I told the airline people over and over that since it was me they were protecting I required no such protection and would be just as happy to sit there without compliant. These poor people were being asked to buy seats that they originally bought for $125 for the full price of $600 and they could not afford to buy them and were looking at having their trip ruined and the only way I could solve it was to upgrade myself to first class which was much more expensive.

    The second time i had to buy a guy an extra seat. That time it was a two seat row and again I said over and over that there was no problem on my end.

    I have to think that faced with that situation and given my response that it had to be more then for my protection if I said I needed no such protection.

    When are we as a society going to give people of weight the same benefit of the doubt as we give people with any other medial problem or even addiction.

    I’m sorry I don’t mean to use your blog to push my agenda but this really gets to me .


  16. catsworking says:

    Mark, congratulations on your weight loss. That is truly impressive.

    I find myself at the other end of the spectrum these days. After spending most of my life as a thin person, menopause kicked my butt and I packed on pounds. According to current weight charts and my height, I think I’m probably very close to being classified “obese,” although I still have no problem fitting into places and can tie my own shoes. I hate the way I look, but I’m also aware that even if I could get skinny again, I won’t have the body I did at 25.

    Yes, I’m fat, but I don’t feel “obese,” so you’re right. Labels are very cruel. And I agree with you 100% that nobody should advocate physically or emotionally abusing anybody.

    I think the reason this country hasn’t made discrimination over weight a big deal is that most people consider it a lifestyle choice, not an inherent condition, like color or a physical disability. We’ve seen too many morbidly obese people holding two heaping plates at all-you-can-eat buffets, especially on cruise ships.

    So I guess the thinking is, “If you choose to be fat, I can choose to try to shame you.”

    Not exactly the Golden Rule, but I think that’s the logic.

    I think I would meet you halfway on your agenda. Instead of trying to accommodate obese people at every turn, even when their size does pose a problem for others, there should be some middle ground. To act as if being obese is OK is to stand by and let them die because we all know how unhealthy the extra weight is.

    True, no one, particularly a public figure like Bourdain, should pick on fat people. But on the other hand, they could do themselves a favor by embracing a more healthy lifestyle, as you obviously did, and getting their weight under control when it’s possible.

    If we get someone more accepting and progressive-thinking into the White House on Tuesday, maybe this is an area that could receive thoughtful consideration at some point.

  17. […] this indicates to me is that the sacrifices of Cats Working and several Filipino bloggers in taking down our posts were not in vain. We apparently helped the […]

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