Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was once banned in India for its "racist portrayal of Indians and overt imperialistic tendencies." In particular, some Indians object to a scene showing monkey brains being eaten as a delicacy, as well the "black sleep of Kali Ma" potion that puts Dr. Jones in a trance. But when Burnside Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon decided to make a special beer in homage to "their favorite childhood movie," they were "unaware that it could be offensive to anyone." That "Temple of Doom"—released the same year as Ghostbusters —could be their favorite childhood movie is probably even more offensive in some circles.
Now Burnside Brewing Company is getting some sensitivity training, thanks in no small part to one Shikha Sehgal, a New York-based Indian who started an online backlash against the beer, writing on her Facebook page, "My Indian friends here and I are never going to sip a single drop of that beer even if it’s available for free. How could they take our religion for granted?” News of their special Kali-ma beer soon spread all the way to the the Indian Parliament, where officials called for the US ambassador to explain the meaning of this, and one lawmaker asked, "Can they show the god of any other faith like this?" (Well, legally, yes.)
But before Kali-ma could spark an international incident, Burnside announced that they would not release the beer. In a statement released on Facebook:
In response to pleas from the Hindu community we have decided to postpone the limited release of "Kali-ma" our imperial wheat ale flavored with Indian spices and Scotch-Bonnet peppers. It is NEVER our intention at Burnside to offend or alienate any race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. The inspiration for the beer label simply came from a favorite childhood movie in the "Indiana Jones" series and we were unaware that it could be offensive to anyone. We are currently scrambling to re-name the beer and intend to release it soon afterwards. To those who have been patiently waiting, we humbly ask that you wait just a little longer and to anyone we have offended we sincerely apologize.
Hey, we've got to hand it to you, Burnside, you've got heart!