Mario Batali Compared Bankers to Hitler, Apologizes (Updated)

But he's also not down with Occupy Wall Street

Forbes has a very interesting transcript from Mario Batali at Time magazine's Person of the Year debate, where he unfavorably compares bankers to Hitler and Stalin.

"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…[T]heir evil has had a huge effect on the world," Batali is quoted as saying.

The celebrity chef has responded to the article via Twitter, claiming, "Mr b deliberately misquoted me for a pr land grab

A couple hours earlier, he also claimed it was taken out of context, tweeting, "I may be opinionated but I am not ignorant ."

Eater has coverage of the backlash, with bankers and investors cancelling their reservations at Babbo and Del Posto. There's even a #bataligate hashtag on Twitter, and Bloomberg's Ryan Sutton is retweeting up a storm from angry bankers.

Batali isn't too enamoured with Occupy Wall Street protestors, though. He wishes they had more of a focus, saying, “Those guys in Zucotti Park, they’re kind of just sitting around. It’s a very 2011 rebellion.”

Update: At around 5:50 p.m. Batali took to his trusty Twitter to apologize for the comments. In the first tweet, he writes, "To remove any ambiguity about my appearance at yesterday’s Time Person of the Year panel, I want to apologize for my remarks."

In the second, "It was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin, two of the most evil, brutal dictators in modern history."

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.

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