The TikTok creator who received backlash for his dumpling restaurant review has issued an apology.
Brett Conti posted a video to TikTok on Sunday apologizing for comments he made in his review of Tasty Dumpling, a Chinese restaurant offering budget menu options in New York City’s Chinatown. Twitter users condemned Conti’s video review, accusing him of casual racism for saying, “I used to hear that they were made out of rats, but they taste good.”
@brettcontiI’m sorry.♬ original sound – Brett Conti
“I made a joke that was false and offensive. I should have been more aware of the impact of my words,” Conti says in his apology video, which has garnered nearly 25,000 views at the time of this writing. “What I said was wrong, so I have taken down that video, and I am ashamed of what I said. There is no excuse for it and I take responsibility for it. I have gone down to the restaurant and apologized.”
NextShark spoke over the phone with Tasty Dumpling’s owner’s son, who asked only to be identified as Jeffrey, about Conti’s review and his apology.
“He did come forward to apologize to us,” Jeffrey said. “My parents, they were satisfied with it, as long as he knows he was wrong.”
“At first I thought it was really messed up that he could say something like that, because everyone online has been saying there’s a certain aspect of casual racism, and I do agree with that. I think it could hurt the business a lot. But I think now that he took down the video and came to apologize, I think it’s fine.”
When asked if his family’s business has been affected by Conti’s video, or rumors similar to the one posed in his review, Jeffrey responded, “Not currently. I think it’ll take more time to see if it’s been affected. There’s never been a rumor like that.”
“I guess if you have a large following online and you come to these types of businesses in Chinatown, you have to think about what you’re saying before you post it,” he continued. “Because it’s not like it was live or anything, he had time to edit and rehearse but he still chose to post.”
In a statement to NextShark regarding the original video, Conti said:
“What I said was wrong. There is no excuse for it and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have been educating myself more on these topics — which I should have known already — so this doesn’t happen again. I’m very, very sorry I was a bad example and hurt so many.”