GARDEN CITY - Social media is buzzing after a popular local restaurant posted a video on its Facebook that many are calling tasteless and racist.
KTVB took this screen shot on Monday before the video was removed from Pizzalchik's Facebook page and replaced with an apology video replying to the backlash:
Pizzalchik posted a video last week showing the general manager with his face painted black as part of a shark costume while he talked about their menu.
Hundreds of people from all over the world commented on the post, saying it was racist or ignorant.
But the man in the video, Pizzalchik General Manager Brad Breakell, says it was not intended to be offensive and he is saddened by people's harsh reactions.
"I was talking like Julia Child presenting a menu inside a shark. And I can understand, I guess, how some people viewed that as the 'blackface' thing and like I said I'm sorry. Its not my intent, not my intent at all. My restaurant is about peace, love, having fun, entertainment, good food and a really relaxed, fun environment. I am not what they depicted me to be in this backlash on my Facebook page," Breakell said. "It wasn't even on my mind, I didn't think about it, I don't think about blackface, I don't think about any of these things. I was just trying to have a little fun with a character I made up."
Breakell added: "I don't discriminate against anybody, no race, creed, religion, sexual preference, I don't care. I'm open to everybody."
Pizzalchik often posts videos on Facebook where Breakell dresses up in character. He painted his face black in a previous video for Arbor Day and he dressed up as a tortilla chip, speaking in a stereotypical Hispanic accent in another video.
Breakell says going forward, he is going to tone it down and be more aware of his costumes.