On Wednesday's episode of Bravo's Top Chef: New York reality show, “cheftestant” Stefan Richter could be seen wearing a red T-shirt with a gold hammer & sickle -- the emblem of Soviet totalitarianism which oppressed hundreds of millions and murdered tens of millions -- inside a gold-outlined Red Army star, matching the colors and symbols on the Soviet flag. In the scene on the NBC-owned Bravo cable channel, Richter, owner of Stefan's European Catering in Santa Monica, California, was lighting up a cigarette as he argued with some other chefs in his contestant group over the elements of a meal menu.
This isn't the first time an NBC show has featured someone sporting the pro-Soviet communist shirt. Back in April of 2006, an entertainment reporter wore the very same shirt over two nights on the NBC-produced Access Hollywood.
Bravo's bio for Richter reports he's a native of a country long in the shadow of Soviet communism: “Stefan was born in Finland but spent the majority of his childhood in Germany” and in 1998 he was “part of the creative team for the opening of the Bellagio Hotel, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.”
My April 18, 2006 NewsBusters item, posted with video, “Soviet Communism as Fashion Statement -- Again,” recounted:
On Monday, for the second straight weekday, Access Hollywood's New York correspondent, Tim Vincent, a veteran of the BBC, sported a hammer and sickle T-shirt as he introduced a story. Just as on Friday's show, as documented in an April 15 NewsBusters item, though he wore a jacket over the red shirt with the symbol of the regime which murdered tens of millions and oppressed hundreds of millions more for decades, a gold hammer and sickle was clearly visible inside a gold-outlined red star which, sans the hammer and sickle, would match the Soviet's Red Army emblem...