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TikToker is being called out over claims that the Asian grocery store has “a pet shop.”

A TikToker has come under fire after comparing an Asian grocery store to a pet shop and making other racist remarks in a now-deleted video.

The TikToker (@modelvsfood) shared a video of jokes about a trip to an Asian grocery store. “If you’ve never been to an Asian grocery store, you’re going to be shocked,” he said in the opening clip. He then displayed an array of groceries he’d found in the store while making faces and playfully choking.

“And they even have a pet shop back here where you can grab any animal you want,” the TikToker said, showing the Tanks where he’d picked up a live crab in the store.

Although the TikTok video has since been deleted, another TikToker named Michael (@chachamyeonmikal) saved the video and merged it with his own video calling out the other creator.

@chachamyeonmikal during AAPI month? @Joel Hansen #aapiheritagemonth #spotlightapi #racism #asiaantiktok ♬ Original sound – Michael

Michael says the deleted video was about three minutes long, but he had to stop watching it after commenting that there was a pet store.

“As if you had to know how bad that sounds and how bad it looks,” says Michael in the video. “It’s a bit racist.”

He also points out that the original video was tagged with multiple hashtags, including #shocking, #ew, #gross, and #shockingfoodchallenge.

“And all this during AAPI Heritage Month?” asks Michael. “At a time when hate crimes against Asians are at an all-time high due to racial connotations based on what Asians eat, your video may go viral, but probably not for the reasons you wanted.”

In a second TikTok video, Michael shows another excerpt from the video, which has since been deleted. In the clip, the original TikToker shows a young child pushing a mini shopping cart and saying, “We have customers in training.”

@chachamyeonmikal reply to @itsjessicaxu here is the clip #greenscreenvideo #aapi ♬ Original sound – Michael

Michael calls the TikToker and says it looks like neither the kid nor his parents knew they were being recorded for a TikTok.

“And during AAPI month, being treated that way comes across as racist,” Michael says in the video, referring to Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which runs through May in the United States. “He should know better. While it wasn’t his intention to be racist, it still comes across that way.”

In response to the backlash, user @modelvsfood posted a six-minute apology video after deleting the original.

“No excuses. I’m sorry. I can’t change the past, but I can change the future. I’ll do better. Thank you,” the video caption read.

In the video, the TikToker says, “I really regret what was released, how it was released and I really take responsibility and I sincerely apologize.”

The TikToker promises that nothing like this will happen again on his side and continues to apologize throughout the video. He then summarizes the deleted video and tries to explain the thought process behind some of his comments.

“I never uttered the words ‘strange.’ [or] ‘disgusting,’ he says in the apology video. “I just wanted to show items that you can’t typically buy in a North American grocery store.”

The TikToker adds that he is an “ally” of other cultures and has always tried to respect and appreciate other cultures. He has always tried to promote acceptance, he says and hopes that his video about the Asian store can be forgiven.

For some viewers, the apology video wasn’t enough.

“Thank you for doing what is necessary,” one viewer commented on the video.

Other users said TikToker should apologize to the grocery store owner and workers.

“Go to the store and apologize,” said one user

“You must go to this store and apologize to the workers,” wrote another user.

A third viewer commented, “You should definitely go to the store and apologize in person.”

The Daily Dot reached out to users @modelvsfood and @chachamyeonmikal via TikTok comments.


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*Initial publication: May 28, 2022 2:23 pm CDT

Cecilia Lenzen

Cecilia Lenzen is a journalism student at the University of Texas at Arlington and a freelance reporter for the Daily Dot.

Cecilia Lenzen

https://www.dailydot.com/irl/asian-grocery-store-racism/ TikToker is being called out over claims that the Asian grocery store has “a pet shop.”

Jaclyn Diaz

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