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Mario Batali steps in Hitler quicksand, apologizes [Poll]

November 9, 2011 |  5:47 pm

Mario Batali

Mario Batali apparently didn't get the memo: Comparing anyone to Hitler rarely ends well.

Celebrity chef Batali apologized Wednesday after comparing "the entire banking industry" to Stalin and Hitler at a panel Tuesday night discussing who should be Time's 2011 person of the year.

"To remove any ambiguity about my appearance at yesterday’s Time Person of the Year panel, I want to apologize for my remarks," Batali said on Twitter. "It was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin, two of the most evil, brutal dictators in modern history."

His foray into the Hitler quicksand came shortly after he asked Anita Faye Hill, the only nonwhite, non-male on the panel, if she was "playing the black card, or the woman card" when she joked that, as the "decided minority" on the panel, she should get "two or three choices" for person of the year.

According to an Eater source, traders rallied against Batali with a boycott via the following message that hit the New York trading floor Wednesday afternoon via the Bloomberg system — a message that reportedly went worldwide quickly.

Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Says Bankers As Bad As Hitler, Stalin ... a list of his restaurants *B&B Ristorante *Osteria Mozza *Babbo *OTTO *Bar Jamon *Pizzeria Mozza *Carnevino Italian Steakhouse *Tarry Lodge *Casa Mono *Tarry Market *Del Posto *Mozza2Go *Esca *Manzo *Lupa Cancel all reservations.....pass the word.

Batali, in his own Twitter moment, had accused Forbes writer Jeff Bercovici of taking his words out of  context. Here's part of the quote Bercovici took directly from Time's transcript of the event:

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.

Batali had explained to Bercovici after the panel that he meant the Hitler reference as a metaphor.

One trader, meanwhile, noted that he'd rather "feast on fingernails and dog hair than give this idiot a dime of my money."

We'll see how Batali's apology goes over in the long run. Thoughts?

RELATED:

Kanye West finds his inner Hitler

Susan Sarandon calls pope a Nazi (not surprisingly, folks notice)

Megan Fox vs. Michael Bay, Round 50: Steven Spielberg, Shia LaBeouf weigh in on the Hitler thing

— Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Photo: Chef Mario Batali speaks during the Time Person of the Year panel in New York City on Tuesday night. credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images.

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