A TikTok user who filmed himself inside an Asian grocery store is facing backlash after pretending to gag at different food products and referring to a live crab tank as a “pet store.”
The TikTok user, @modelvsfood, begins the now-deleted video by telling viewers that they will be “shocked” if they have “never been in an Asian grocery store.” The beginning of the video includes a superimposed caption that reads, “This food should be illegal” as he smells a durian while making a gagging face. He then holds up a bag containing chicken, describing it as “a very questionable looking chicken with its feet still on.”
The TikTok user cuts to the seafood section and pans the camera towards the live crab and shrimp tanks. He then says, “They even have a pet store back here where you can grab whatever animals you want,” as he lifts a live crab out of the tank.
Another TikTok user, Michael, also known as @chachamyeonmikal, managed to stitch the beginning of the now-deleted video on May 19 and explained that the original video was about three minutes long. Michael said that he “had to stop” the video after @modelvsfood compared the Asian grocery store to a pet store.
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“You have to know how bad that sounds and how bad that looks. It’s a little bit racist,” Michael said in the video. “And all of this during AAPI Heritage Month.”
Michael also pointed out that the original video used several hashtags such as #shocking, #eww, #grossfood and #gross.
Following the backlash, @modelvsfood posted a six-minute apology video where he expressed “regret.”
“I truly regret what was released, how it was released, and I really do take responsibility. I sincerely apologize. The video has been removed and I’m here again to verbalize and to share that nothing like this ever happens again,” the TikTok user said. “I just wanted to show items you normally can’t acquire in North American grocery stores.”
Some internet users were unsatisfied with the apology and accused the TikTok user of “doing the bare minimum,” while others commended him for taking responsibility.
“You should definitely go to the store and apologize personally,” one user commented.
“You’ve taken the mature route and owned up to it. It’s a moment for growth,” another user wrote.