ADL To Celebrity Chef Mario Batali: Apology Accepted

New York, NY, November 10, 2011…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the apology from celebrity chef Mario Batali for his offensive analogy comparing bankers to the dictators Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. 

Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement: 

We welcome Mario Batali's acknowledgement that his comparison was completely inappropriate. Hitler and Stalin are names associated with some of the most barbaric human atrocities in the 20th Century, and one should never minimize or trivialize their actions. 

We hope that this will serve as a teachable moment for Mr. Batali and for others who have used similar analogies. Analogies to the Nazis and the Holocaust are becoming far too commonplace in our society, and decent people must speak out and condemn these statements as irresponsible and morally offensive. 

While appearing as part of a celebrity panel sponsored by Time magazine promoting its "Person of the Year" on November 9, Mr. Batali said: "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." In his apology later that day, Mr. Batali 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."

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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