Legal Sea Foods Ad Makes Fish Taco Joke About Mexicans

Same-sex marriage and marijuana, too.

Courtesy of Legal Sea Foods

Courtesy of Legal Sea Foods

Hardly a stranger to controversy, Legal Sea Foods’ latest ad campaign is drawing criticism.

The Boston-based seafood chain sought to riff on the oft contentious 2016 election cycle by inserting its CEO Roger Berkowitz as a faux candidate. In addition to three television spots, the campaign included a full-page ad in Tuesday’s Globe that asked, “If we build a wall on the border, who will eat our delicious fish tacos?”

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has made the construction of a wall along our border with Mexico, financed by the Mexican government, a central part of his campaign. While announcing his candidacy in June, Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” who are bringing crime and drugs into the United States.

“It’s a fishy election year…and everyone is talking about it. We want Legal Sea Foods in the conversation. It’s not our intention to offend anyone or be political in any way. The ads are a parody of the current political atmosphere, and we hope that people view them in the spirit in which they were created,” Legal Sea Foods said in a statement.

“They go to the edge, sometimes,” Berkowitz told the Globe‘s Jon Chesto. “[But] the purpose of advertising is to get a message across, and you don’t get it by blending.”

The fish taco as we know it today originated in the Baja California region of Mexico and was heavily influenced by San Diego. The closest Legal Sea Foods location to the Mexican border is a 17-hour drive away in Atlanta.

Berkowitz’s other campaign ads, produced by New York agency DeVito/Verdi, state he’s always supported the gay community by proudly serving rainbow trout, and will promptly legalize seaweed upon arriving in office.