Amid widespread controversy surrounding Christopher Columbus statues, some Ohioans are hoping to rename the city of Columbus to Flavortown in honor of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host Guy Fieri. Along with many other monuments, statues of the man credited with discovering America in 1492 have come under fire in recent days as protesters are calling for all of them to be taken down. As Fieri was born in Columbus, some Ohioans have also taken to launching a new petition on Change.org to actually change the name of the city to Flavortown, a reference to the magical place the Food Network star visits when tasting particularly good food.
"Columbus is an amazing city, but one whose name is tarnished by the very name itself," says petition creator Tyler Woodbridge, with the petition addressing his fellow Ohioans and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. The petition description also reads: "Why not rename the city Flavortown? The new name is twofold. For one, it honors Central Ohio's proud heritage as a culinary crossroads and one of the nation's largest test markets for the food industry. Secondly, celebrity Guy Fieri was born in Columbus, so naming the city in honor of him (he's such a good dude, really) would be superior to its current nomenclature."
Outside of his shows on the Food Network, Fieri is very well known for his generosity and charitable work. This includes helping to spearhead the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF), working to raise over $20 million to benefit out-of-work food service employees when their businesses were ordered to shut down. These kinds of efforts have turned Fieri into a hero through the eyes of many fans, and after the Guy's Grocery Games star joked on Twitter that he was considering a 2020 presidential campaign, there were many responses from fans in complete support of the idea.
This news is reminiscent of what's been happening in Tennessee, with natives similarly looking to honor a local hero. A petition on Change.org was launched for statues of Dolly Parton to replace all Confederate monuments in the state, including one of former KKK leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. A plethora of Parton fans voiced their approval on social media for the concept, and even local lawmakers are reportedly considering the idea."How about getting a lady in there?" state Rep. Jeremy Faison said of a potential replacement for the Forrest statue. "What's wrong with someone like Dolly Parton being put in that alcove?"
Renaming a city is much more complicated than erecting a new statue, but for what it's worth, many Ohioans seem to be on board with the Flavortown name. Taking to Twitter in recent days, people have been expressing their support for the idea. "If Guy Fieri backs the decision to rename Columbus, Ohio to Flavortown, Ohio, I will literally tattoo 'I love Guy Fieri' on my chest," one Fieri fan goes so far as to say. You can take a look at some of those tweets below, and you can check out the petition to rename the city of Columbus to Flavortown at Change.org.