Actor and comedian Russell Brand may not have started a revolution, but he did start a YouTube channel a few months back, dedicated to skewering British tabloid press headlines. And the biggest, most skewerable headlines this week were about Pizza Express using halal chicken without telling customers.
The Sun screamed about the popular pizza chain's "halal secret" in a front page story, claiming chicken slaughtered in accordance with the Islamic tradition is used in "every meal that contains the meat—but customers only find out if they ask."
The Daily Mail followed up the next day with "Millions are eating halal chicken without knowing it!" and a scandal was born.
Apparently, a lot of British people are fine with eating dead animals, but they're not so cool with eating secretly Muslim dead animals. There's been much ado about the relative humaneness of the way the birds are killed, but the majority are stunned before being decapitated, just like non-halal chickens. The main difference is that halal chickens' blood is drained afterward, and Islamic verse is recited.
Some news outlets, like the Guardian and the Washington Post, have called the scandal what it is—overblown and dumb. But Russell Brand took it a step further, and called it what it also is: Racist.
If you don't believe him, check the YouTube comments on his video, or the hashtag #boycottpizzaexpress. Spoiler alert: Most of them are not about animal rights or the details of slaughtering practices.