SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Solid8 CEO Michael Lofthouse has resigned from the San Francisco Bay Area tech startup in the wake of the outcry triggered after he was videotapped delivering vulgar and racist comments toward an Asian family celebrating a birthday at a restaurant in Carmel Valley.
Late Saturday, Lofthouse issued a statement announncing he was departing from the company. He did not say if the departure was voluntary or if he was asked to leave.
“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,” he said in a statement released to news media. “I have once again begun my journey back to sobriety and have enrolled in an anti-racist program with immediate effect. 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 behavior and these broken beliefs to exist but I am dedicated to changing.”
In an earlier statement released by the company, Lofthouse said he lost control of his emotions during the encounter.
“My behavior in the video is appalling,” the statement read. “This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments.”
The video originally posted on Instagram shows Lofthouse cursing and gesturing with his middle finger at the family at the Bernardus Lodge and Spa’s Lucia restaurant.
Jordan Chan, the woman who posted the video, told KION the incident happened as her family was celebrating her aunt’s birthday on the Fourth of July and that man was insulting and harassing her family with racist language, saying, “F— you Asians,” “Go back to whatever f—— Asian country you’re from” and “You don’t belong here.”
The video starts with the woman asking the man sitting one table over to repeat what he had just said to them. The man stares at the camera for a few seconds, then extends his middle finger and says, “This is what I say.”
The man then says, “Trump’s gonna f— you,” as he stood up to leave, followed by “You f—— need to leave! You f—— Asian piece of s—!” A server then immediately yells at him “No, you do not talk to our guests like that. Get out of here,” the waitress could be heard saying in the video.
Warning: Racist, vulgar language and gestures
“I’ve dealt with racism before but never on that scale,” Chan told KPIX 5. “Never on the level where somebody completely unprovoked felt obligated to voice their hatred for absolutely no reason.”
In a statement to KION in the wake of the incident, Bernardus Vice President and GM Sean Damery said, “This is an extremely unfortunate situation, however we are proud of our staff at Lucia in keeping with Bernardus Lodge’s core values; this incident was handled swiftly and the diner was escorted off property without further escalation. We provide guests with a safe environment for lodging and dining, and extend our sincere apologies to the guests enjoying a birthday celebration on a holiday weekend.”