‘That Wuhan, China, bat thing?’: Michelin Star Chef Blasted for Xenophobic Comments in LA Times Op-Ed
Chef Nancy Silverton recently apologized for the insensitive remarks she made in a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed she co-authored with fellow journalist, Michael Krikorian.
The 66-year-old Michelin star chef apologized over the weekend for the L.A. Times op-ed where she used xenophobic remarks regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how she compared the looters to roaches, according to LA Eater.
Journalist Michael Krikorian & I wrote an Op-Ed in the L.A.Times, an attempt to keep the media’s focus ON George Floyd, NOT looting damage at my restaurant. Some of it, however, was hurtful to many. That was NOT my intent at all and we deeply and sincerely apologize @makmak47
“Journalist Michael Krikorian & I wrote an Op-Ed in the L.A.Times, an attempt to keep the media’s focus ON George Floyd, NOT looting damage at my restaurant,” Silverton said. “Some of it, however, was hurtful to many. That was NOT my intent at all and we deeply and sincerely apologize.”
In the LA Times Op-Ed, titled “The Mozza ‘corner’ got trashed. Don’t worry about us, send your sympathy to George Floyd’s family instead,” Silverton talked about what happened to her Mozza restaurants that were broken in to during the protest on May 30.
Silverton’s Mozza 2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles were heavily damaged. Silverton urged her followers to not focus on the damage but instead divert their attention to the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. However, many criticized Silverton and Krikorian for how they approached the opinion piece.
The authors compared rioters scrambling to run after the Los Angeles Police Department arrived at the scene to roaches.
“Twice, though, it looked like the cavalry had arrived. Around 11 p.m. and later at 11:30 or so, 10 LAPD cruisers approached, sirens on. “Police!” the looters shouted and scatted like roaches,” the line in the op-ed piece reads.
Silverton and Krikorian also made xenophobic remarks regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You remember the pandemic, right? That Wuhan, China, bat thing? We quarantined and wore face masks?” it says.
Many criticized Silverton’s article and the hateful rhetoric used to describe current national events.
https://t.co/pTOLlVUcBs. Deplorable language. I have eaten at two of Nancy Silverton’s restaurants in L.A. IF she is able to re-open I will never eat at her establishments again. Silverton is a very savvy woman. Her “language” wasn’t a mistake.
Those who spoke out against Silverton and the opinion piece were allegedly blocked by the chef.
I’m an Asian American woman who also got blocked by #NancySilverton for speaking out about her op-ed, and two other Asian-American women tweeted me pictures of themselves blocked as well. Her restaurant is in MY diverse neighborhood and I’ve supported it for many years. 😡 pic.twitter.com/BZRpZ4k7L9
After the incident, Sewell Chan, editor of the Editorial Page at the L.A. Times, posted an apology for not editing the article properly.
Heidi, this happened on my watch. The op-ed should been more rigorously edited. I am sorry, and I believe the writers are too. Their intentions were benign, but their use of sarcasm was in poor taste. Thank you for sharing your feedback and holding us to account.
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