In a more coherent, long-form rant on his own blog, Anthony Bourdain backed off comments he made last week on Twitter about Cadillac’s capacity for storing dead hookers and the ease with which one can remove “splooge” from a Cadillac’s dashboard. The Twitter rant was not meant to be directed at Cadillac, per se, but at the Travel Channel, which inserted product placement into Bourdain’s finale episode of No Reservations against both Bourdain’s wishes and his contract. Bourdain is still pissed at the network, which he is no longer a part of, having moved on to CNN, where he’ll make another show similar to No Reservations.
After writing at length about how he refuses to do product placement, owing to one very bad experience with doing so in the past for a credit card company, Bourdain explains what upset him so much about the episodes in question.
I like to think I’m a man of my word. If I tell you I’m going to meet you tomorrow at a movie theater to see a film at twelve o’ clock, I will be there. And I’ll be there early. I will expect the same of you. If I make an agreement—especially about something as personal as the use of my name and image, I expect that agreement will be honored. So it came as a shock and a disappointment to turn on the TV for the last two episodes of my show, and see that someone had taken footage that me and my creative team had shot for my show, cut it up and edited it together with scenes of a new Cadillac driving through the forest. Scenes of me, my face, and with my voice, were edited in such a way as to suggest that I might be driving that Cadillac. That, at least, I was very likely IN that Cadillac—and that if nothing else, I sure as shit was endorsing Cadillac as the vehicle of choice for my show. All this following seamlessly from the actual show so you were halfway through the damn thing before you even realized it was a commercial.
The network made a commercial, with me endorsing a product, and hadn’t even bothered to ask me. After the first airing of the commercial, I let the network know of my extreme displeasure. Fair warning one would think. They ran it again anyway.
Then, Bourdain talks about how his relationship with the Travel Channel has soured not just because of the product placement, but because of unauthorized clip shows, and how he intends to bring legal action against the cabler.
I have had a long and mostly very happy relationship with Travel Channel over the last eight years. For almost all of that time, they were incredibly supportive of what me and my partners were doing—and of me personally. A number of different owners, a number of different administrations came and went. But in the last year or so things started to take a definite turn for the worse. There was the news that, unbeknownst to me, the network had decided to add THREE “special episodes “ comprised entirely of clips from previous shows to the final bunch of only seven. Had we not agreed to edit them ourselves, they were well on their way to doing the shows without our participation. Best I can tell, they are, unfortunately, well within their contractual rights to butcher our painstakingly shot and edited footage as they choose. It’s something of a creative signature of the new guard at Travel, best I can tell—to cynically and cheaply “repurpose” existing material to create additional “content”. In such circumstances, as some of my on air colleagues agree, no one wins. Presenters look exploitative and lazy. Fans feel used and misled. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about that.
But I CAN do something when my name and image (such as they are) are used to sell a product without my consent and in violation of prior specific and well crafted legal agreements. And I intend to.
Bourdain closes by rieterating that he was and still is very angry.
(The above post is sponsored by Cadillac, built with enough trunk space to hold more deceased prostitutes than any other full-size automobile on the market. Blood and semen residue wipes away easily from Cadillac’s luxurious stain-resistant interior. Cadillac: The number one car in America for your dead hooker removal needs.)
(Source: Anthony Bourdain’s Blog)