The controversial ‘anti-Muslim’ tweet by celebrity Chef Atul Kochhar resulted in the end of the relationship between the renowned JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai and the celeb Chef.
“Following the recent comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar, we have taken the decision to end our agreement with him for Rang Mahal. With the termination of our agreement, Chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant. At the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai we pride ourselves on creating a culture of diversity and inclusion for our guests and associates across the hotel and our restaurants. We also remain committed to delivering the traditional culinary experience and high service standards that Rang Mahal is renowned for,” the JW Marriot Marquis Hotel said in a statement made to the Khaleej Times.
After the statement by the hotel was issued, Atul was quoted saying by the Khaleej Times, “The decision by JW Marriott Maquis is deeply upsetting, however, I fully accept the great pain I have caused and the difficult position the Hotel has been put in. I have great respect for JW Marriott and in particular their staff in Dubai and wish the hotel well for the future. I hope my friends and well-wishers in Dubai will forgive me and continue to support me in future.”
The operator of the Rang Mahal Indian restaurant in Dubai, the celeb Chef, had replied to Priyanka Chopra’s tweet, criticising an episode of “Quantico”(an American television series).
The controversial tweet by Atul reads; “It is sad that you have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam over 2,000 years“.
Since the tweet was factually incorrect as Islam was found around 1400 years back, Atul deleted his tweet afterwards and issued an apology for his remarks.
There is no justification for my tweet, a major error made in the heat of the moment on Sunday. I fully recognise my inaccuracies that Islam was founded around 1,400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many.
— Atul Kochhar (@atulkochhar) June 11, 2018
On Tuesday Atul made another tweet with an unconditional apology. “I would like to apologise unreservedly to my Muslim friends, the Islamic community and everyone I have offended with my recent tweets. They were insensitive and wrong. My work and my restaurants are defined by a passion to unite cultures through food, love and understanding. I have let myself and my colleagues down. I am upset and sorry for the pain I have caused and ask for your forgiveness,” reads the tweet.
But the UAE residents and Islam followers from India demanded his dismissal, turned a deaf ear to his apology and said that they would boycott the Hotel.
Angry residents of UAE posted on their Facebook timeline; “Chef celebrity showed his true colours. I won’t eat here after reading the racist tweets by the head chef.” Another resident tweeted; “I have cancelled my wedding anniversary meal for next month at your restaurant. You knew exactly what you meant as you tweeted that message.”
The JW Marriott Hotel, at last, decided to stick to its decision of cutting all ties with Chef Atul Kochhar. In a tweet the Hotel said:
We are aware of the comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar. We would like to stress that we do not share the same views as stated in the remark, nor is it a representation of the culture of diversity and inclusion that we pride ourselves on at the hotel.
— JW Marriott Marquis (@JWDubaiMarquis) June 11, 2018
Rana Ayyub confirmed the same with a tweet
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) June 13, 2018
It is ironic to see how the same people who were trolling those protesting against Quantico’s portrayal of Hindu National citing freedom of speech were later trolling the Chef even after the apology. The freedom of speech also includes the right to offend, however, like always the FOS & FOE still remains a controversial & subjective entity.