A sign in front of the eatery displays a picture of President Obama wearing a Colonel Sanders-style bowtie and suspenders and a tagline that reads, “We so cool, aren’t we?,” according to the Shanghaiist.
A KFC China spokesperson told BlogPost via email that the restaurant is not affiliated with the chain.
“We’re considering legal action as it is a knock-off and has nothing to do with us and it infringes on our brand trademark,” the statement said. “We find it distasteful.”
“It’s insulting, offensive and plays to racial stereotypes,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said of the shop to the New York Post. “What makes it even worse is that when we deal with this global competition between the U.S. and China, for them to be mocking the leader of the free world, I find it even more appalling.”
KFC was criticized for a 2011 TV ad that showed an Obama look alike promoting fish fillet sandwiches. Yum! Brands pulled the spot, which only aired in Hong Kong, saying in a statement, “It was meant to be a spoof and no disrespect was intended.”
If OFC turns out to be an imitation of KFC, it wouldn’t be the first time that popular American brands have been copied in China. Fake Apple and Ikea stores have popped up in several cities, while police in Shanghai recently arrested five people for making hundreds of fake iPhones for sale.
Beijing’s OFC should not be confused with “Obama’s Fried Chicken” in Brooklyn and Manhattan, two unrelated chicken joints that raised eyebrows when they opened.
Update: The owners of the eatery have decided to shut it down for the time being, the Shanhaiist reports.