Sunny Anderson responds to backlash over ‘gluten-free’ Party City commercial

Food Network star Sunny Anderson wants fans to know she had nothing to do with the creation of a controversial Party City commercial that poked fun at people with gluten sensitivities.

On Monday, the party supply chain pulled the Super Bowl-themed ad — which featured two women talking over a table decorated with Anderson’s inflatable snack stadium — and apologized for having one of the women call people who are gluten-free “gross.”

Though Party City released a statement assuring viewers that Anderson “was not involved in the creation of this commercial in any way,” the “Cooking for Real” star took to Twitter on Tuesday to address the controversy herself.

“Imagine having a contract. Then it gets breached making you look bad. They apologize and make sure people know it wasn’t you. Then no one cares & people are still mad at you. What did I do again? I’m chasing dreams and sometimes there’s a roadblock. GUESS WHAT? STILL CHASING,” Anderson tweeted.

The popular chef tweeted a fan’s message pointing out that Anderson had previously shared with fans that she suffers from ulcerative colitis.

“I know you’re the LAST person who would be offensive to people with food allergies,” the fan wrote.

Anderson also checked in with her Instagram fans, letting them know she’d been handling the controversy “Olivia Pope-style” and was now “ready to cook.”

Party City’s social media pages were flooded with complaints after the controversial commercial began airing. The ad featured two friends looking over their table of snack options and then to a single stool featuring separate offerings.

“Those are some gluten-free options,” one woman says.

“Do we even know people that are like that?” her friend asks.

“Tina,” the first woman answers.

“Oh, gross, yeah,” her friend responds.

Party City’s apology, which Anderson shared on Instagram Monday night, read in part, “Party City values its customers above all else, and we take your feedback extremely seriously. We recognize that we made an error in judgment by running the recent Big Game commercial, which was insensitive to people with food allergies.”

The company assured viewers it had pulled the commercial from its website and all channels, and vowed to make a donation in support of celiac disease research. Those who suffer from the autoimmune disorder must avoid gluten because it will damage their small intestine.

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