Singapore Scolds McDonald's Over Toy Gaffe

20100122114226_macpigYear of the Rat.  Year of the Horse.  Year of Cupid the Love God?  One of these things is definitely not like the other.

That’s what a bunch of bloggers in Singapore thought, too.  McDonald’s restaurants in the predominantly ethnic Chinese country promoted a line of small stuffed dolls depicting the Chinese zodiac.  But when they got to the Year of the Pig, they replaced the porcine plush with Cupid the God of Love (presumably to run near Valentine’s Day.)

Ironically, the move was made to not offend.  McDonald’s wanted to show Singapore’s Muslim population that they respected their beliefs, too.  And Muslims aren’t allowed by their religion to eat the meat of a pig.

But critics argued that stuffed toys are not, in fact, food.  And those who were born in the Year of the Pig or who wanted the whole collection were left wanting.  In a letter to the editor written to the Straits Times, Pauline Koh complained:

“I understand that we need to respect our Muslim citizens as Singapore is a multiracial and multicultural society. However, in this case, the Pig is one of the Chinese zodiac signs — part of Chinese culture and customs — and it is just a soft toy, not food.”

According to AsiaOne, even Muslims agreed that McDonald’s should include the pig. After apologizing to the country in a half-page newpaper ad, McDonald’s announced they’d release a Year of the Pig toy in April and donate all sales to Ronald McDonald charities.


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