Bankers Will Forgive Chef Mario Batali for Calling Them Hitler

mario batali babboPoor, poor bankers. Did you hear the mean things Mario Batali said about them the other day? At a Time magazine Person of the Year panel, he compared the negative impact of the banking industry to "Stalin and Hitler and the evil guys." (See the full quote below.) How dare he! Does he not know who dines at his restaurants? Who finances his businesses?!? And so, the bankers organized a boycott. Who will eat Batali's white truffles now?

Branding expert Howard Belk thinks Batali offended around 75 percent of his customer base with the remark. But Batali's mistake could be your gain. If bankers really do start boycotting his restaurants, there's hope for the rest of us trying to get reservations. Let's take a look-see over at Open Table and find out if any reservations have suddenly become available.

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Hmmm, for Saturday night, the only table for two at Del Posto is for the 4:30 seating. In fact, it's nothing but 4:30, 5:30, and 9:30 seatings for the next month. So much for feeding on crumbs from the plates of the scorned bankers!

Oh, but those same bankers were so outraged on Twitter yesterday. WELL I NEVER! Boycott Babbo! Vacate Batali! I will never eat there again! What a load of hot air. If these guys were selling stocks, I don't think I'd believe a word they said -- oh wait, they are selling stocks. 

Nevertheless, Mario is molto sorry. He apologized today for his hurtful 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."

And blah blah blah. Thank you for that thoughtful apology, Mario. But I wonder if it was even really necessary. Looks like the promise of deliciousness trumps your offensive remarks. That, or the Twitter bankers are just a vocal minority and the rest of the financial world couldn't care less. Let's say the Vacate Batali Bankers are the 1 percent of the 1 percent.

By the way, for those curious about the statement that got Batali into so much non-trouble, here's what he said:

I would have to say that who has had the largest effect on the whole planet without us really paying attention across the board and everywhere is the entire banking industry and their disregard for the people that they’re supposed to be working for .... 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.

... And they really, really like my cooking! Grazie mille bankers. Would you like to hear tonight's specials?

Do you think most bankers really care what Mario Batali or any celebrity chef says about them?


Image via Babbo

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