Tech CEO Michael Lofthouse resigns after racist coronavirus rant caught on camera

San Francisco tech CEO Michael Lofthouse went on a racist rant over the Fourth of July holiday weekend at Lucia Restaurant and Bar.

Warning: This article may be triggering for some readers. Please read at your own discretion.

California tech CEO Michael Lofthouse has resigned after his racist coronavirus rant was caught on camera over the Fourth of July weekend.

Jordan Chan and her family were dining at Lucia restaurant in Carmel Valley when they were accosted by Lofthouse, she writes in the caption of a video she shared to Instagram[Warning: Video contains expletives and racist language.] 

In the disturbing footage, viewed more than one million times, Lofthouse can be seen with his middle finger up and pointed at the camera. At one point, he calls the group of diners “Asian pieces of s—t,” among other vulgarities.

In an email to CNN, the CEO of cloud computing company Solid8 confirmed his resignation.

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“I can confirm that I have stepped down from Solid8, terminating all business relationships with immediate effect,” Lofthouse wrote. “I will make it my duty to ensure my personal actions do not continue to have a detrimental impact on those people closest to me.”

Chan wrote in the caption of the now-viral video that she and her family were subjected to unprovoked, racist harassment.

“This is the face of the man who relentlessly harassed my family and I completely unprovoked, unwarranted and unconscionable,” Chan wrote. “We were celebrating my tita’s birthday, literally just singing happy birthday to her and taking pictures, when this white supremacist starts yelling disgusting racist remarks at us.”

According to Chan, Lofthouse hurled insults at their table, like “F—k you Asians,” “Go back to whatever f—king Asian country you’re from” and “You don’t belong here.”

As the video continues, a server, who was identified as Gennica Cochran by San Francisco Bay-area broadcaster KGO-TV, intervened to tell Lofthouse to leave.

Cochran had been watching Lofthouse all night, she told the station, after he switched tables, sent food back multiple times and was rude to her manager, she claims.

“You need to leave right now. Get out. You are not allowed here — get out now,” Cochran can be heard saying at the end of the video. “You do not talk to our guests like that — they are valued guests. You are not allowed here ever again.”

The server said something just came over her, and she did what she had to do.

“To hear the emotion coming out of my voice, to see my mannerisms, it was unbelievable,” she told KGO-TV. “I did what anybody else should or would do in that situation.”

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“I felt very protective of them,” she continued. “You don’t come in here and say those kinds of things to people. Especially people feel so raw coming out of quarantine. Most of these people, this is the first time that they’ve been out to dinner and then you have someone attacking them, it was just no, no, I don’t have time for this.”

On Monday, Lofthouse released a statement saying he has “once again begun (his) journey back to sobriety” and enrolled in an anti-racist program.

“My comments towards the families involved were racist, hurtful and deeply inappropriate. The reactions to what was said have been deserved and I wholeheartedly acknowledge that I am complicit in a system that enables this behaviour and these broken beliefs to exist but I am dedicated to changing,” Lofthouse said.

“To the Chan and Orosa families, Gennica Cochran and the Lucia restaurant at Bernardus Lodge please accept my heartfelt and sincere apologies, I hope that the conversations and awareness that this incident has created can act as a catalyst for necessary change. It is my commitment to you to overcome my issues and be part of the solution for an equal and compassionate future.”

On July 8, he tweeted out an apology statement from his company’s Twitter account.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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