'Putrid': Sydney burger restaurant forced to explain 'racist' post

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A restaurant in Sydney’s west has been forced to explain a “racist” post about Australia Day.

Downtown Brooklyn Penrith posted on Facebook on Australia Day spruiking its fairy bread burger.

It added: “364 more sleeps ‘til we have to listen to the Invasion Day bandwagoners again”.

The restaurant is referring to the Australia Day protests with calls to change the date out of respect for Indigenous Australians.

The post has since been deleted.

Downtown Brooklyn Penrith is pictured.
Downtown Brooklyn Penrith has removed a post calling people who don't support Australia Day 'bandwagoners'. Source: Facebook/ Downtown Brooklyn Penrith

Post slammed as ‘racist’, ‘stupid’ and ‘putrid’

Emma Husar, the member for Lindsay, wrote on Facebook the post was “racist”, “disappointing” and “stupid”.

“Western Sydney is home to the largest numbers of First Nations people in a metro setting,” Ms Husar wrote.

“Downtown Brooklyn Penrith your attitude towards your own community (that you profit from) sucks.”

One woman called the post “disgusting” and another “putrid”.

“I know where to avoid when out at Penrith,” one man wrote.

Another woman wrote “you won’t last long in this town”.

“Might as well shut up shop now. No room for racism,” she wrote.

A Facebook post from Downtown Brooklyn Penrith calling Invasion Day supporters band wagoners.
Downtown Brooklyn Penrith's post about Australia Day has been called racist but the restaurant's owner said it was 'misconstrued'. Source: Facebook/ Downtown Brooklyn Penrith via Emma Husar

Restaurant owner explains the post

Chris O’Shea, the owner, wrote on Facebook to explain the post.

Mr O’Shea wrote he signed off on it as the restaurant’s social media team “like to push the boundaries when it comes to their marketing”.

“Unfortunately they may have pushed the boundaries a bit too far this time with some of the comments made,” he wrote.

Mr O’Shea wrote the post was meant to make fun of social media influencers “and how they love to jump on bandwagons” to get likes but forget about “the true cause”.

Protesters hold the Aboriginal Flag across Victoria Bridge during an Invasion Day rally in Brisbane.
Protesters in Brisbane call for a change of date for Australia Day. Source: Getty Images

He believes it was “misconstrued” as being racist.

“The post was never meant to be racist in any way shape or form,” Mr O’Shea wrote.

“The damage is done, there is no coming back from this and as the owner I have accepted this.

“To the entire Indigenous community that has been offended in regards, please take this as my sincerest apologies as to how the post was construed.”

People didn’t buy it though.

“Sorry, not sorry,” one woman wrote.

“You can’t ‘explain’ your way out of this one. You serve the community, all the community and obviously you don’t care to be sensitive to our First Australians.

“Not a good look.”

Another called it a “putrid attempt at rectifying the situation”.

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