Thousands have signed an online petition to change the name of Ohio's capital to "Flavortown," after the famous buzzword of celebrity chef and native son Guy Fieri. The city, trying to distance itself from the troubled legacy of Christoper Columbus, had already announced it would remove a statue of the controversial navigator from outside City Hall.
"For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness. That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past," Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement.
But in a Change.org petition that went up last week, more than 32,000 signers advocate taking things a bit farther, starting with changing the city's name.
In a missive that begins, "Beloved Buckeyes, one and all," poster Tyler Woodbridge writes, "Columbus is an amazing city, but one whose name is tarnished by the very name itself. Its namesake, Christopher Columbus, is in The Bad Place because of all his raping, slave trading, and genocide. That's not exactly a proud legacy."
Why not call the capital "Flavortown" Woodbridge muses, citing the city's appreciation of good food and the fact that Fieri ("he's such a good dude") was born there 52 years ago.
"Let's get the ball rolling for a more flavorful tomorrow," the post concludes.
While Fieri was born there, he grew up in Northern California, where his family moved when he was an infant.
The restaurateur and buoyant Food Network personality and is the self-proclaimed mayor of the imaginary "Flavortown," a designation that has become synonymous with his work.
As coronavirus decimated the country and left millions of food workers without jobs, Fieri partnered with the National Restaurant Association to offer $500 grants, via an employee relief fund, to those thrown into the unemployment line
The beloved food celebrity has been self-quarantining at his Santa Rosa home with his wife, two sons and 400 goats that serve as four-legged lawnmowers. With his TV program “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on hiatus, Fieri has said he is cooking up a storm to stay busy.