The Dubai hotel associated with celebrity chef Atul Kochhar has cut ties with him following an inflammatory tweet that caused outrage on social media. The tweet faced flak for allegedly being racist, bigot and Islamophobic.
The Michelin-starred chef operated the award-winning Rang Mahal Indian restaurant at Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel.
According to a Gulf News report, Bill Keffer, general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai said that following the recent comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar, they have decided to end their agreement with him for Rang Mahal. “With the termination of our agreement, Chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant,” Bill Keffer, added.
On Tuesday, Kochhar issued a second apology 48 hours after his tweet to actress Priyanka Chopra.
According to the statement issued on his Twitter handle, Kochhar reached out to his “Muslims friends” and the “Islamic community and everyone I have offended”, calling his words “insensitive and wrong.”
Kochhar had earlier faced the wrath of social media users after he called out Chopra on the micro-blogging site.
Chopra had posted an apology of her own on her timeline for causing offense by a recent episode of her TV show Quantico that portrayed a Hindu nationalist group as terrorists.
In Kochhar’s now deleted tweet, the chef had said,“It’s sad to see that you have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam over 2000 years. Shame on you.”
However, following a furious backlash, Kochhar retracted the tweet and called it a “major error made in the heat of the moment,” while further adding: “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.”
He had also, earlier wrote,
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
Twitter users were, however, unforgiving in their attack on Kochhar.
One Masarat Daud posted, “@atulkochhar has apologised for getting the Islamic date wrong, but not for his bigotry…”
Another Baba tweeted, “When I saw your tweet, I didn’t even notice 2000, I noticed dehumanizing bigotry… but your apology focused on 2000 Vs 1400 semantics."
Chopra has yet to put out a response to Kochhar’s remark, his latest apology has elicited mixed reactions on social media.