The man identified as James Hilbrant who worked at Prudential Financial and told Korean American entrepreneur Sophia Chang to “go back to Wuhan” while out having lunch with her sister has been let go by the company.
Social media users have been demanding action against the man after Chang posted the video, which was recorded at Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach, California, on her Instagram account.
Clean eating and white-washing of traditional ethnic foods seems to be the latest fad, with Andrew Zimmern’s “Lucky Cricket”, Gordon Ramsay’s “Lucky Cat”, and Arielle Haspel’s “Lucky Lee’s” popping up claiming to serve authentic Asian cuisine but with a healthier twist. Honestly I applaud these three restaurateurs and their very “lucky” establishments, it takes a special kind of arrogance to open an “authentic” Asian restaurant with no Asian staff members while claiming to be a “cleaner” and “healthier” alternative to traditional counterparts run by immigrant families.
While this theme of cultural appropriation through food is clearly very popular for entrepreneurs, there’s one restaurant in Orange County, California that has been on this trend since 1987 — far before it was considered mainstream.