The owner of a pizzeria in Boise, Idaho, is in hot water after posting a racist and tasteless advertisement on social media.
Brad Breakell, the owner of Pizzalchik, is known for promoting his pizzeria through crazy videos featuring him wearing wigs and outlandish costumes. However, his latest attempt fell flat after he painted his face black and asserted it had nothing to do with racism.
Breakell said he was playing the character “Jacklyn Jaws” — apparently, an attempt to profit through a local shark exhibition at a museum. His costume consisted of a cardboard body of a shark with a hole cut out in its mouth, which he filled with his face.
Breakell said he painted his face black and his mouth a garish red so he could blend in with the shark’s interior. However, hawk-eyed viewers have noted Breakell’s face goes beyond the shark’s jaw line. His excuse also doesn’t hold water because viewers who saw the video said he called himself “Chocolate John” instead of Jacklyn Jaws, according to the Idaho Statesman.
You can tell the Pizzalchik owner isn't racist because of all the obviously racist people who rushed to defend him.— Mikey the Red (@MikeyPullman) June 28, 2017
However, Breakell insists his intent was not to be racist toward the African-American community.
“There was no intent of being blackface,” the pizzeria owner said. “People said, ‘Do you know what blackface is?’ Of course I know what blackface is but because I’m so not that way it didn’t even cross my mind.”
He has also taken down the video and replaced it with an apology.
“I am so sorry if I have offended anybody,” Breckell said in the clip. “I hope you can see that I am genuine in my apology to those of you who I’ve hurt, because this is not who I am.”
He also said he would think carefully before making promotional videos in the future.
However, the racist video has already prompted a lot of anger in the community.
“My children have taken harassing phone calls,” he said. “People have been phoning and ordering hundreds and hundreds of dollars of pizza with no intent to pick any of this stuff up.”
This isn’t the first time the pizzeria owner has created videos that are construed as culturally insensitive.
He previously painted his face black for an Arbor Day video and once wore a huge tortilla chip mask and spoke with an exaggerated Hispanic accent for National Tortilla Day.