Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel has terminated its agreement with the head chef of the Rang Mahal Indian restaurant following his “anti-Islam” tweet on June 10. Atul Kochhar, a person of Indian origin, had criticised actor Priyanka Chopra for an episode of her television drama Quantico that showed a Hindu terrorist plotting an attack in Manhattan with the intention of blaming it on Pakistan.
“It is sad to see that you [Chopra] have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam [for] over 2,000 years”. He deleted the tweet later and apologised, but a screenshot of it went viral on Twitter.
“Following the recent comments made by chef Atul Kochhar, we have taken the decision to end our agreement with him for Rang Mahal,” JW Marriott Marquis Hotel General Manager Bill Keffer said in an emailed statement to Gulf News. “With the termination of our agreement, chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant.”
“At the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, we pride ourselves on creating a culture of diversity and inclusion for our guests and associates across the hotel and our restaurants,” Keffer added.
The chef’s tweet caused outrage on social media, with some users asking the restaurant to fire him, and others threatening to boycott the restaurant. On Tuesday evening, Kochhar issued another apology on Twitter, calling his statements “insensitive and wrong”.