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."

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.