Michael Lofthouse, who serves as CEO of a San Francisco startup, has apologized for a racist outburst that was caught on camera
One of the best things that cell phone cameras have given us is the ability to capture people’s bad behavior in public to ensure they’re held accountable. There are all the people throwing tantrums about having to wear masks during the pandemic. People who litter. People who try to get away after commiting crimes. And there are people who are horrifically racist in public, like Michael Lofthouse, the subject of a recent viral video you might have seen.
The video, which went viral on Instagram, shows Lofthouse dining alone at the Bernardus Lodge and Spa’s Lucia restaurant in Carmel Valley, California. It was filmed by Jordan Chan, who was at the restaurant with her family to celebrate her aunt’s birthday, and shows Lofthouse giving them the middle finger and shouting insults and profanity at them as a member of the restaurant’s staff tries to kick him out.
“Trump’s gonna fuck you,” he yells, multiple times. “You fuckers need to leave! You fucking Asian piece of shit! Fuck you Asians,” “Go back to whatever fucking Asian country you’re from. You don’t belong here.”
“I’ve dealt with racism before but never on that scale,” Chan told local news reporters. “Never on the level where somebody completely unprovoked felt obligated to voice their hatred for absolutely no reason.”
Lofthouse has since issued a statement to multiple media outlets, apologizing for his outburst.
“My behavior in the video is appalling,” it reads. “This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments. I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all race and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day.”
His social media accounts appear to have been deleted or suspended, including his LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. According to multiple news outlets, Lofthouse is the CEO of San Francisco-based startup Solid8. The company has not returned media requests for a statement.
“What’s important is to call it for what it is. This is racism,” said California Assemblymember Rep. Evan Low, who added that he’s seen a rising tide of anti-Asian racism across the state. “And there’s a type of hate crime that’s too often associated with this. And there’s a fine line between that and free speech.”