Boise pizza restaurant getting criticism after ‘brownface’ Facebook video
Karen Lehr, KIVI
BOISE — (KIVI) — A Treasure Valley business is once again facing backlash on social media after some residents considered a recent Facebook video racist.
Pizzalchik general manager Brad Breakell shares weekly videos on the restaurant’s Facebook page promoting the weekend dinner specials, but a recent video promoting a burrito-filled menu is causing controversy.
In the video, Breakell introduces the Mexican-themed menu in a Mexican accent with his face painted brown, calling himself as “Billy Burrito.”
The video, which has since been deleted, offended some Boise residents like Magy Chavez, who has vocalized her disapproval in the past.
“I was shocked definitely,” Chavez said after seeing the burrito-themed video. “He was using a lot of casual racism in his videos, lots of stereotyping and accents.”
But the manager says it’s just a humorous way of sharing dinner specials with his online followers.
“Every menu has specific characters that I create,” Breakell said. “It’s just what I do. The intent is never to offend anyone.”
Last summer, in a video that was later deleted, Breakell dressed in an open-mouthed shark costume during Shark Week, painting his face black. Some valley residents accused the pizzeria manager of being racist for his “blackface,” and the video was deleted.
Breakell then shared a public apology on the restaurant’s page in which he said, “I’m deeply from the bottom of my heart hurt and saddened and very much sorry if I have offended anybody with my last video.”
This time around, face painted brown, the man behind “Billy Burrito” says he’s sorry again.
“If I did offend anybody, I’m sorry that was never my intent,” Breakell said. “It was a menu of burritos, so I created a character that was promoting the menu.”