Comedian Rob Schneider Under Fire for Making Paella in a ‘Disrespectful’ Glass Pan

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 11:43 am, December 30, 2016

Comedian Rob Schneider tried to make the Spanish dish paella on Christmas Eve—and, after he tweeted a photo of his attempt, he was immediately accused of cultural appropriation.

Among the former Saturday Night Live actor’s purported offenses: He used a glass casserole pan to make the dish, which Salon self-righteously proclaimed “failed the test” for respectful cookware, because “there’s one thing everyone can agree on, and that is that one must cook paella in, well, a paella pan.”

(Don’t feel bad, Rob; Salon is also aghast that chef Jamie Oliver not only dared cook paella in alternative crockery but also, horror of horrors, “added something no Spaniard has ever seen in paella: chorizo.”)

Salon even found an expert source (an NYU professor) who posited that “white chefs have more freedom to play with other people’s food than chefs of color do, which creates inherent inequality in the field.” To that, the author adds that English-speaking chefs also have outsized ability to read recipes and experiment, which is apparently an expression of privilege.

Ponder that one for a second.

Alas, Salon wasn’t the only one outraged by cultural appropriation of paella.

Reacting to Schneider’s cooking failure, El Español pulled together a list of 13 global paellas that will make Spaniards want to pull out their hair. The article even comes with a trigger warning: “All of the photographs that appear below can harm gastronomic sensibilities.”

“If that’s paella, then I’m Michael Jackson in thriller,” sniped the Spanish YouTube celebrity Liberty Mario.

The controversy also annoyed Spanish chef José André, who volunteered a cooking intervention.

Poor Rob Schneider: Twitter users deemed his paella so offensive and pathetic that it trended in some parts of Spain. At least he seemed amused.