A California restaurant owner is walking back his comments and apologizing for his “recklessness” after making remarks banning customers in MAGA hats from his establishment.
Cookbook author and chef, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, came under heavy fire for a now-deleted tweet last week that said any customers of Wursthall in San Mateo wearing Trump campaign “Make America Great Again” hats would not be served, Fox News reported.
In a panel discussion Friday, Katie Pavlich on “The Five” said the chef “got burned” after his tweet which read, “It hasn’t happened yet, but if you come to my restaurant wearing a MAGA cap, you aren’t getting served, same as if you come in wearing a swastika, white hood, or any other symbol of intolerance and hate.”
In another also deleted tweet, he said “MAGA hats are like white hoods except stupider because you can see exactly who is wearing them.”
The restaurateur shared a message on Medium.com on Friday, apologizing that his attempt to address the “anger, hate, and violence” associated with the MAGA hats ended up “amplifying the anger.”
Here’s my statement about the comment I tweeted the other day. https://t.co/A84kK9Pwex
— J. Kenji “Individual Fun” López-Alt (@kenjilopezalt) February 1, 2019
“It was aimed at these three elements rather than at a physical object, but I understand that many interpreted my words in a different context, and construed a message of hate directed at them. This was not my intent in any way, and I am sorry for my recklessness,” López-Alt wrote, apologizing to his staff and partners, and for being “reckless.”
“Unfortunately the way I tried to communicate this ended up only amplifying the anger, and I apologize for that,” he added.
López-Alt clarified that his “personal perspective in no way meant that Wursthall was changing its policy, as is being erroneously reported in media.”
“Wursthall will continue, as it always has, to serve all customer regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual preference, gender orientation, disability, or political opinion — so long as they leave hate, anger, and violence outside of the doors of our restaurant,” he concluded.
The panel on Friday’s “The Five” reacted to the apology, the original tweet and the comments by CNN host Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon who came under fire for equating MAGA hats to a racist symbol.
Cuomo NOT happy when called out for equating MAGA hat to racist symbol and insinuating bans are justified https://t.co/Jbf3uy7nhH pic.twitter.com/r0yLNk1ggg
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 1, 2019
“It’s not really about the hat, it’s about the expansion of a target by the media,” co-host Greg Gutfeld said. “And it is the media’s responsibility.”
He explained the “cultural witch hunt” which has widened the hate to go beyond just voting for President Trump, or even about the hat in particular.
“This is really bad,” Gutfeld exclaimed, pointing to how Lemon and others in the Resistance are “demonizing half the country” as they now declare, “If you’re not part of our group, you’re evil.”
Co-host Juan Williams disagreed, calling the hats “provocative” and pointed out how former Louisiana State Rep. David Duke, an ex-KKK leader, was seen in a photo wearing a MAGA hat.
As talk turned back to López-Alt, Pavlich remarked that it didn’t seem the chef intended to apologize for his views, only that he caused his staff any problems and that he offended anyone.
“You know, it’s like, own it or not,” Pavlich said.
“This is the reason Donald Trump became elected,” co-host Jesse Watters added, pointing to the string of controversial debates over politically correct phrases, songs, and clothing. “People were so sick of people telling them what to do, how to think, what to say.”
Dana Perino wrapped up the segment with the conclusion that “grown people should get off Twitter.”
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