James Tahhan, a celebrity chef for Telemundo, has faced backlash after he made a racist gesture about Asians during South Korea’s victory over Germany at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
While wearing a Mexico jersey, the celebrity Venezuelan chef was seen on camera making the racist gesture by pulling his eyes to the side.
Tahhan, better known as Chef James, is a 29-year-old Venezuelan chef, television personality, restaurateur, author and. He is best recognized for being the official chef of Telemundo, and being a co-presenter of its morning show Un Nuevo Dia.
via USA Today:
Mexico’s soccer federation was fined for “discriminatory and offensive” anti-gay chants its fans made toward Germany’s goalkeeper in their World Cup opener. After players urged fans not to repeat the chant, there weren’t any other incidents in Mexico’s two remaining group stage matches.
Earlier in the World Cup, soccer legend Diego Maradona of Argentina made the same racist gesture toward a group of Asian fans at the Argentina vs. Iceland game. That, along with other behavioral issues, led to calls for him to leave the World Cup completely.
Dear @Telemundo @TelemundoSports & @TLMDPR , whoever this guy is on the left needs to get fired ASAP for being a racist on air. If someone were to say or make racist gestures about Latinx folks we'd ALL be up in arms & this is no different #SayNoToRacism #TelemundoMundial pic.twitter.com/SvzSednPAd
— Miguel Hernandez (@Techivist) June 27, 2018
The incident involving Tahhan was not the first racial incident at the 2018 World Cup with Mexico as Mexican fans could be heard shouting homophobic slurs during El Tri’s 1-0 victory over Germany.
Tahhan released an apology on Twitter saying he had shown a “lack of sensitivity.”
“During the celebration for the classification of Mexico, I made a mistake and made an inappropriate and insensitive gesture towards the Asian community. It was a lack of sensitivity on my part. I admit that I did something wrong and wanted to apologize to anyone who was offended by it,” Tahhan said on Twitter.
Despite losing to Sweden 3-0 in their final group stage game, Mexico advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the seventh consecutive time.
— James Tahhan (@ChefJames) June 28, 2018