Celebrity chef Mario Batali- who everyone has still really not forgiven for having a hand in foisting the trend of Crocs on the world so thoroughly- has been forced to issue an apology after some colorful descriptions of bankers got Batali in hot water, sans bouquet garni.
Batali was speaking at the Time Person of the Year panel earlier this week, and made the comments which were then widely distributed on Forbes.com. Batali drew historical comparisons between banks and the impact bankers have had on the state of the world economy in recent years. Batali remarked:
“So the ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys. They’re not heroes, but they are people that had a really huge effect on the way the world is operating.”
Although in context it is clear Batali was not making a standard reductio ad Hitlerum comparison, his off-the-cuff remarks still drew a tremendous amount of ire both online and off. Batali quickly retracted the statement after commenters began threatening not to patronize Batali’s New York establishments, including Babbo, Del Posto, Otto and Lupa. The chef said:
“To remove any ambiguity about my appearance at yesterday’s Time Person of the Year panel, I want to apologize for my remarks. It was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin, two of the most evil, brutal dictators in modern history.”
Do you find Batali’s remarks offensive?