A New York City chef has come under fire after filming himself blaming Chinese people for spreading COVID-19 and claiming that they eat bats.
In a video posted on Instagram on Sunday, Chef Jose Luis Chavez, co-founder and owner of Mission Ceviche on Second Avenue, can be heard saying in Spanish, “These Chinese people comes to eat bats and we get this issues god dammit.”
The original video has since been taken down but was shared and translated via @asianswithattitudes.
Chavez apologized in a follow-up video on Instagram, asking for forgiveness for his “stupid jokes.”
“I am making this post to ask for forgiveness for the incredibly offensive and stupid comments I made the other day,” he wrote. “On the way home, after having to pack up and close one of our venues, I said things that hurt and offended people and I sincerely regret it. I know I cannot take back my words, but I promise to do better and to be better everyday.”
A subsequent 19-minute video in Spanish shows Chavez clarifying the original video that was taken “out of context.”
In response to a commenter who felt they would be uncomfortable stepping into Mission Ceviche, the restaurant replied that Chavez’s “position has always been to share and collaborate with the different migrant communities.”
Some social media users commented on the apology video to show support. But many others called him out for only saying sorry because he was caught and that he needs to do better.
NextShark has reached out to Chavez and Mission Ceviche for further comment and will update once we hear back.