South African Asian Restaurant ‘Misohawni’ Apologizes For Offensive Name After Viral Outrage

South African Asian Restaurant ‘Misohawni’ Apologizes For Offensive Name After Viral Outrage
Heather Johnson Yu
By Heather Johnson Yu
November 15, 2017
After facing severe backlash from netizens all over the world, South African restaurateurs Ryan Vermaak and Fabio di Cosmo have issued an apology for their eatery’s offensive name, Misohawni.
“Social media platforms have been a buzz the past 24-hours, creating much debate around the name of a new Asian Fusion Food restaurant in Melville, Johannesburg.
Co-owners of Johannesburg based restaurant MiSoHawni Ryan Vermaak and Fabio Di Cosmo have released a statement apologising for the naming mishap and have taken immediate steps to rectify the issue.
“Vermaak and Di Cosmo are deeply sorry, ‘Let us start by saying that this was never our intention and we are truly and deeply sorry for any hurt that we may have caused.’
via FaceBook / Misohawni
“’This page will remain open until the new rebrand has taken full effect,’ he adds. ‘Opening an Asian fusion restaurant has been a dream of ours for many years and this came from a place of us being inspired by the food and wanting to celebrate Asian culture and not to mock it.’
“Vermaak explains: ‘In our enthusiasm to open the restaurant however we fully admit that we showed serious lack of expertise and understanding when it came to the name and fell back on an ingrained stereotype that we clearly did not understand – and for that we are sorry.’
“’We have taken heed of what the public are saying and it is important that we take it seriously, with this in mind we are currently in the process of a rename to ensure we can give the people of JHB a place to enjoy regionally inspired Asian Cuisine,’ he says. ‘We are happy to engage with the community, and anyone who we have impacted, with the intention of opening dialogue with them, because while we’ve learned from this experience we believe that there is always an opportunity to learn more.’
via FaceBook / Misohawni
“Vermaak and Di Cosmo have been working in the entertainment industry for 15 years in which they have strived to create spaces and experiences that are safe and inclusive for women and people of all races. He adds: ‘Our intention with our restaurant was always and still is, to do the same.’
“Any further queries can be directed to: [email protected].”
What do you think? Is their apology acceptable, or are they not forgiven? Let us know in the comments.
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