Food Network star and “Iron Chef America” host Alton Brown apologized Wednesday after making “offhand” comments about the Holocaust on Twitter.
Brown, who has become a celebrity chef as the host and creator of “Good Eats”, says he was commenting on the current political climate and that references to the Holocaust were not intended for “humorous effect.”
According to screenshots circulating online of now-deleted tweets from Tuesday night, the TV personality referred to being transferred to camps and asked if there would be striped uniforms “like those in ‘Auschwitz or will plaid be in fashion? NBC News has not seen the original tweets.
When a user replied to Brown to “take it easy,” Brown – in a tweet that was not deleted on Wednesday and was seen by NBC News – replied, “F – you. “
StopAntisemitism.org, a nonprofit group dedicated to documenting anti-Semitic behavior, posted a screenshot of one of Brown’s original tweets with his portrait, calling the reference “vile.”
“Iron Chef America host @FoodNetwork @altonbrown just spit on the graves of six million Jews with his vile and excruciating comment!” the organization tweeted on Tuesday.
Brown apologized Wednesday for the “offhand” reference to the Holocaust, which killed an estimated six million Jews.
“This was not a reference I made for a humorous effect, but rather to reflect how deeply scared I am for our country,” Brown tweeted Wednesday. “It was a very poor use of judgment and bad taste.”
Brown has become known over the years for his controversial Twitter account and comments. Eater reported in 2011 that Brown announced he would be leaving the platform after someone created a fake account posing as his wife.
The outlet reported at the time that Brown would “regularly post a bunch of tweets for mass deletion, usually within twelve hours.”
Social media users were upset with Brown on Monday for saying he had voted for Republicans for “most” of his life, in a tweet that was also deleted but reported by multiple outlets, including Eater and Newsweek. Brown, however, did not delete a response to a fan, who said he was “disappointed” with the TV host.
“Frankly, you have no right to be disappointed with me” Brown a tweeté. ” Not at all. I used my own platform to express my opinion. You might not like me, but the disappointment in me should be reserved, say, for bad recipes.
Representatives for Alton Brown and the Food Network did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.